Ukraine claims to have destroyed part of a Russian military convoy which has been reported to have been travelling within Ukrainian territory.
In a call to British Prime Minister David Cameron, the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that Russian military vehicles had been destroyed. Russia for its part denies that any vehicles have crossed the border.
In a statement, Poroshenko’s office said: “The president informed [Cameron] that the information was trustworthy because the majority of those machines [Russian military vehicles] had been eliminated by the Ukrainian artillery at night.
“The president expressed concern over the situation on the border, particularly, over the fact that the inflow of Russian arms and military machines in Ukraine through the open part of the border continued.”
The incident follows press reports on Thursday that a column of 23 Russian personnel carriers accompanied by support vehicles had indeed crossed the border into Ukrainian territory.
Britain has asked to speak to the Russian ambassador for clarification, a spokesman for Number 10 said: “[Cameron had] expressed grave concerns at reports of Russian military vehicles crossing the border.
“They agreed that humanitarian aid does need to reach those in the East, but this should be delivered through the International Committee of the Red Cross. Russia should be cooperating fully with the ICRC and must not use the aid convoy as a pretext for further provocation.”
Russia continues to deny having crossed the frontier, and has provided no confirmation of Ukraine’s report of the destruction of its military vehicles.
Russia maintains that border guards have been patrolling the area, but that they have remained firmly on Russian soil.