Ukraine Troops ‘Cross into Russia’ during Heavy Fighting, Russia Starts Military Exercise at Ukraine Border

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | August 5, 2014 1:44 PM EST

In a strong move from the Ukraine army, 311 entered Russia while fighting heavily with the separatists. The Ukrainian troops pushed the pro-Russian rebels further in to "cross into Russian territory," according to a Ukrainian spokesman. Russia, on the other hand, started significant military exercises near the Ukraine border. Ukraine, however, seems resolute in its mission of "liberating Donetsk from the north after encircling the city," going by the words of the city administration.

Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko
Ukrainian army tanks move past a checkpoint as they patrol the area near eastern Ukrainian town of Debaltseve, Aug. 3, 2014.

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Andriy Lysenko, the security spokesman, said at the Gukovo checkpoint that his country was making attempts to get the troops back via diplomatic channels. Ukraine continues to blame Russia for supporting the separatists. Ukraine also accused Russia of supplying rocket barrages to the rebel groups.

At least 100 Russian military aircrafts started exercising near the Ukraine-Russia border on Monday, Aug 4. It said that it would continue to have military exercise near the Ukraine border for the entire week. The national defence ministry said that the air exercise would involve Mi-24/Mi-28 helicopters and MSu-27/iG-31 fighter jets. The border exercise will also include the Sukhoi Su-34, the latest inclusion to Russia's frontline bombing.

According to the foreign ministry, Ukraine deployed tactical launchers and missiles near Donetsk. Ukraine, on the contrary, denied the allegation. Ukraine's National Security and Defence Council spokesman Andriy Lysenko also dismissed earlier claims that pro-Russian separatists were able to capture some Ukrainian National Guard personnel during the fights.

Ukraine, in the meantime, looks all set to launch a major assault on Monday as it cautioned Donetsk civilians to leave. Lysenko said that cars with white flags would be evacuated using special corridors. Ukraine earlier declared that its army had taken control of Yasynuvata, the town which is a major communication point between Luhansk and Donetsk.

Civilians are reportedly getting ready for siege as they are found storing food and supplies. They have also been found sleeping in their basements as Ukrainian troops tightens the hold around the Donetsk city.

Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au

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(Photo: Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko / )
Ukrainian army tanks move past a checkpoint as they patrol the area near eastern Ukrainian town of Debaltseve, Aug. 3, 2014.
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