Moscow has responded to accusations of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, saying there is no proof to support the allegations.
“No facts about a Russian military presence on Ukrainian territory have ever been presented. There have been reports about satellite imagery exposing Russian troops’ movements, however they turned out to be images from video games. The latest accusations happen to be much of the same quality,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, referring to accusations by Ukraine and a number of its Western allies.
Lavrov made the remarks at a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in Moscow on Friday.
Lavro’s comments came after the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) released satellite images allegedly showing Russian tanks and armored vehicles crossing into Ukraine from Russia.
A Russian civilian told the Press TV correspondent, “This war is nothing but brothers killing brothers, if the people in the east want to be a part of Russia, it is their decision, Kiev should not tell them what to do.”
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin called on the pro-Moscow protesters to allow Ukrainian soldiers trapped in Novoazovsk to flee the coastal town.
Alexander Zakharchenko, a leader of pro-Russia forces, also said that he had agreed to offer a “humanitarian corridor” for the Ukrainian troops to leave the battlefield in the restive eastern parts.
However, Zakharchenko added that Kiev’s forces should abandon their armored vehicles and ammunition before leaving.
Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking regions in the east have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Moscow forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations to silence pro-Russians in mid-April.
Violence intensified in May after the two flashpoint regions of Donetsk and Luhansk held local referendums, in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine.
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