KIEV: Ukraine’s defense minister yesterday accused pro-Russian rebels backed up by Moscow’s forces of assembling a 40,000-strong army sufficient for a “mid-sized European state”. Stepan Poltorak’s estimates fly in the face of Russia’s denials that it either backs the separatist fighters or covertly sneaks troops across its southwestern border into the Ukrainian warzone. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko last week put the number of active Russian soldiers in his former Soviet republic’s industrial east at more than 9,000.
But President Vladimir Putin describes Russians fighting against Ukraine’s pro-Western government troops as patriotic volunteers and off-duty soldiers who are answering “a call of …read more
Source: Kuwait Times