News / Europe

NATO: Photos Confirm Russian Tanks Near Ukraine

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen pauses as he answers reporters' questions following a meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels on Wednesday, June 4, 2014
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen pauses as he answers reporters' questions following a meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels on Wednesday, June 4, 2014
NATO on Saturday released photos that it said showed recent Russian tank movements near the Ukrainian border, one day after the U.S. State Department asserted Russia had sent tanks and heavy weaponry to separatists in Ukraine.
 
NATO releases satellite images showing eight tanks arriving at the staging area June 6, with 10 in the area by June 11, 3 of them on transports ready to move, June, 14, 2014.NATO releases satellite images showing eight tanks arriving at the staging area June 6, with 10 in the area by June 11, 3 of them on transports ready to move, June, 14, 2014.
x
NATO releases satellite images showing eight tanks arriving at the staging area June 6, with 10 in the area by June 11, 3 of them on transports ready to move, June, 14, 2014.
NATO releases satellite images showing eight tanks arriving at the staging area June 6, with 10 in the area by June 11, 3 of them on transports ready to move, June, 14, 2014.
The tanks in the NATO photos were seen on the Russian side of the border, but a NATO officer told VOA that they were likely the same ones that were shown moving within eastern Ukraine in video circulating on the Internet.

"In the context of a counter-insurgency, tanks are significant," said the official said who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record. He called them a "psychologically significant platform," that could boost the morale of insurgents. 

The official said the tanks are difficult to drive, meaning only someone who had training could operate them properly. That means it was unlikely that the separatists are driving them, he said.

The officer told VOA that the convoy was part of a larger group of military vehicles assembled at a staging area near Rostov-on-Don, about 50 miles from the border with Ukraine. Among them were at least 10 T-64 battle tanks - a Russian model that originally was scheduled to be scrapped but has remained operational.

Russia has about 2,000 functional T-64 tanks at its disposal, the officer said.

Moscow has denied that it supplies or directs the separatist forces in Ukraine, and the rebels battling Ukrainian troops say they have acquired their weapons from government stockpiles.

A day earlier, the U.S. State Department asserted Friday that Russia had in fact sent tanks and other heavy weapons to separatists. Photos and video circulating on the Internet showed as many as three tanks crossing the border near the Ukrainian town of Snizhne.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said that a convoy of three T-64 tanks, several rocket launchers, and other military vehicles crossed the border in the last three days. She called the move "unacceptable."

The Ukrainian Army said it had destroyed two of the tanks and several other vehicles in the convoy.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Friday that if reports of "pro-Russian armed gangs" acquiring heavy weapons from Russia were confirmed, it would mark "a serious escalation" of the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

Russia, which annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in March, has repeatedly said it would not make further intrusions into Ukrainian territory.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's government said that its security forces regained control of Mariupol, a port city in the Donetsk region that has changed hands several times.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said Ukrainian forces raised the country's flag over city hall.  

In another development, Russian forces began military exercises Thursday in the Baltic Sea enclave of Kaliningrad. Moscow says the exercises are a response to ongoing NATO maneuvers in European NATO countries near its borders. 

Kaliningrad is a tiny Russian territory wedged between NATO member-states Lithuania and Poland.

In Moscow Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin marked one of Russia's main holidays, Russia Day, with praise for the annexation of Crimea.

In an address, Putin said the peninsula and its strategic Black Sea port of Sevastopol have come back to their "homeland."  

Western governments and the United Nations say Crimea has been occupied by Russian soldiers.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
 Previous    
by: meanbill from: USA
June 14, 2014 10:22 AM
CRAZY isn't it? -- The US shouting here comes the Russians invasion, (they just sent (3) old antiquated outdated over (30) year old T-64 tanks), against the Ukraine military, that has about (3,000) of them? -- (It just has to be a joke of some kind?) --- (The whole world is laughing at the humor of this propaganda?) --- WHAT NEXT? --- Russian sending WW1 By-planes to Ukraine?

In Response

by: Popsiq from: Buganda
June 14, 2014 6:11 PM
Not as 'stupid' perhaps as one of the kids driving those three tanks. Don't they know they're out numbered? They're going to be starting down a lot more than one barrel.

To-day 'Feld Mareschall' 'Turchy' warned them to 'get out' of those tanks - they're going to be destroyed from the air. Same as the Army unit a fortnight ago.

In Response

by: cygnusx1 from: U.S.
June 14, 2014 4:23 PM
You'd feel pretty stupid about this comment if you were staring down the barrel of one of these antiques. By the way, real people will be but I guess it's rather hard to fathom sitting in your comfy lazy boy recliner.


by: tanghongbo1981 from: jiangsu province china
June 14, 2014 9:28 AM
Chinese people don't trust democracy which the west countries insist ,just thinking the Ukraine and Thailand ,please believing Chinese communist party ! they can give Chinese people peace surrounding!


by: Jaycey from: Zaporozhzhye, Ukraine
June 14, 2014 3:36 AM
How many more Ukrainians must die before the world takes the blinkers off? 10,000, 100,000, 1,000,000 ?

SHAMEFUL!


by: Igor from: Russia
June 14, 2014 2:38 AM
Hey, The USA must stop barking arbitrarily following those in Kiev like a parrot. Such actions will do no good to the USA at all.

In Response

by: Frank from: Newark
June 14, 2014 3:01 PM
All the DRAFT DODGERS can go fight. Joe Biden, Dick Cheney, All the neocon-cowards. Every politician and news-pundit that calls for war .......... PUT them in the Front Lines of the war they want.


by: VOV from: RUS
June 14, 2014 1:44 AM
Lord inhabit the territory of America, before we start talking about democracy, first return the territory to the indigenous population of North America... And answer for many of their own atrocities against the population of other States and remove from it . Dear you our fighters for justice...

In Response

by: cygnusx1 from: U.S.
June 14, 2014 4:19 PM
LOL. How about Russia repatriate the peoples of Eastern Europe and Southeastern/Central Asia to their original lands since you stole it and forcibly relocated them to populate Siberia which, by the way, was after you stole Siberia from the indigenous eastern Asians. Sound stupid? Spare me your hypocrisy.


by: Chi Le from: USA
June 14, 2014 12:37 AM
What does Putin speak for his action? He annexed Crimea to protect Russian-speaking Ukrainians and Russian people who were living in Crimea. With the logic, I fear he will bring the tanks to the U.S. or any country to fulfill a similar action.

In Response

by: Tom Murphy from: West Virginia
June 16, 2014 1:03 AM
" I fear he will bring the tanks to the U.S. or any country to fulfill a similar action."

Easier to say than to do it. Just how would he do that??



by: gen from: japan
June 13, 2014 11:55 PM
Three tanks would be driven and moved by Russian thirsty emotion of democracy.

In Response

by: Larsen E Whipsnade
June 15, 2014 2:22 AM
Mr Nobody - Russia doesn't operate T64 tanks. The only operator in the world is Ukraine. The only T64 factory in the world is guess where? In Ukraine.

In Response

by: Mr nobody from: Amerika
June 14, 2014 1:35 AM
"thirsty emotion of democracy" ?

Democracy is not a Russian emotion.

Three tanks were just missing? If Russian intentions were to stay out of the Ukraine, the tanks would be burning hulks before they got near the border crossing.

America doesn't just let a bunch of hooligans drive off a few tanks.

If we cannot trust Russia with Tanks, guns, MANPADS, or treaties, then what can we trust them with?






by: gen from: japan
June 13, 2014 11:48 PM
Only three tanks crossed the border.Is it true? But the drivers of tanks can't be Russian military men.It can't be only three tanks crossed.no military strategy.
Maybe angry citizens would drive.maybe
veterans.retired military men.
The angry men against kiev.If Russian are angry,they lose temper and can't control their emotion. If so,I understand angry drivers of tanks.East region people now become refugees to run to Russia,more than 10,000 residets due to the attack by kiev.
It is natural that everybody would be angry against prolonged operations.Everybody want kiev to stop the meaningless attack.

In Response

by: Evelyn Livingston from: Canada
June 14, 2014 4:04 AM
Gen..are you insane? People in the east are refugees because of insurgents sent from russia. Kyiv did not invade their own territory.


by: meanbill from: USA
June 13, 2014 10:43 AM
TRUTH BE TOLD -- One victory in many more battles to come, won't win the war -- (BUT?) -- when winter comes, the Ukraine Right Sector government will either have won the war, (that's a laugh), or they'll suffer disaster or even defeat. -- (BECAUSE?) -- the logistics of the Right Sector fighting the Ukraine war in the winter, will be like Hitler's retreat from Russia, in bitter cold? -- Where the Ukraine Right Sector government has the advantage now, the pro-Russian separatists will have it in the winter... "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu?

In Response

by: Tom Murphy from: West Virginia
June 13, 2014 11:52 PM
meanbill:
You failed to take note of the fact that the Ukrainian people are native to their region and are well acclimated to the winter weather. By contrast, Russian nationalists are unaccustomed to the new atmosphere of truth that's sweeping across Ukraine. They will be duped by Putin into putting their lives on the line for Putin's dream of re-creating the USSR from a group of unwilling nations. They will push and slog themselves through all of Putin's meaningless maneuvers until the last failed card is played. In the end. Putin will return frustrated to his winter palace and the Russian people will be forced to support him in his old age after each rigged election until he dies.

In Response

by: Mr nobody from: Amerika
June 13, 2014 10:03 PM
Do tell the truth or should I say Pravda?

Right sector is just a small party. Ukraine won the election by having one.

Why is Russia losing ground in Ukraine?

Where is the bump from Sochi Olympics? All but forgotten.

There are Nazis in the Ukraine and Russia. The GRU knows all of them. Why are they left alone?

They are useful to them. The GRU likes Nazis.


by: Humey Nwokolo Esq from: Nigeria
June 13, 2014 8:48 AM
I believe Crimea Peninsular will one day return to Ukraine also without bloodshed; Pranks of Putin notwithstanding.

In Response

by: Iain Yuile from: Canada
June 14, 2014 4:31 PM
One has to wonder just what planet Nwokolo and other blogs i've read are from. The Crimea voted nearly 90% to return to Russia. It was Russian in the first place before Communist government in Moscow gave it to Ukraine in the 1950's. And it isn't Putin who is pulling pranks, it's the E.U., NATO and USA.

In Response

by: Larry47460 from: Indiana, US
June 14, 2014 2:45 PM
Wow how quickly people forget the mountain of LIES that led to some of the last wars. Weapons of mass distraction in Iraq. How many MILLIONS must die for these parasite bankster pieces of trash before humanity wakes up to this B.S. Putin hasnt lied but our so-called president cant tell the truth about ANYthing here. Crimea had their OWN parliment and they voted to NOT be with the garbage that the US installed in Ukraine. GET OVER IT! Those that push war should be given a rifle and a parachute and flown in. Have at it you cowardly filth!

Comments page of 2
 Previous    

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violencei
X
Lenny Ruvaga
November 27, 2014 7:05 PM
The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid