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Ukraine

US officials release alleged proof of Russia firing into Ukraine

US officials have released images which allegedly show Russia firing on Ukraine. Proof of Russian interference in the armed conflict would bolster previous allegations that Moscow has been aiding separatist rebels.

The US State Department published satellite images on Sunday which it said prove that the Russian military has been firing rockets into Ukraine over the period of several days. The release of photos followed a recent Pentagon warning of cross border fire.

Early reports indicated that a total of four pictures were released. They allegedly depicted an area close to the two countries' shared border.

According to the US officials, Russia has fired rockets more than 7 miles (11 kilometers) into Ukrainian territory.

The images released on Sunday reportedly show Russian batteries located within its own territory and impact craters across the border in eastern Ukraine.

In recent months, the US, EU and the Ukrainian government have voiced concerns over a stark increase in Russian troops close to the Ukrainian border, which they fear could herald a ground offensive similar to Russia's take over of Crimea earlier this year.

Western leaders have also accused Moscow of supplying separatists in eastern Ukraine with weaponry. They believe not only that the rebel groups have used Russian arms to takeover several cities, but also that Russian support led to the downing of passenger flight MH17 less than two weeks ago.

While international observers continue to investigate the circumstances behind the airline disaster, US and Ukrainian officials have said that separatists likely shot down the commercial airliner by mistake.

kms/dr (AP, AFP)

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