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Ukraine accuses Russia of "direct invasion"

Ukraine's ambassador to the OSCE on Thursday (Aug 28) accused Russia of a "direct invasion" but Moscow's envoy denied reports that Russian troops were active in the conflict-torn east of the country.

VIENNA: Ukraine's ambassador to the OSCE on Thursday (Aug 28) accused Russia of a "direct invasion" but Moscow's envoy denied reports that Russian troops were active in the conflict-torn east of the country.

"We registered a direct invasion by the Russian military into the eastern regions of Ukraine," Kiev's envoy Ihor Prokopchuk told journalists following a special meeting of the European security body to discuss the latest developments in Ukraine. "The situation has significantly aggravated," he said in English, citing the capture "by regular Russian forces" of the key southeastern town of Novoazovsk and several other surrounding towns.

He described Russia's latest moves as a repeat of its strategy in the Crimean peninsula, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in March after initially denying its troops were there. "It is the same scenario that is played out now in the eastern part of Ukraine... The scenario was tested in Crimea and what we witness today is the invasion and direct entry of Russian forces into the eastern part of Ukraine."

Russia's ambassador to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Andrey Kelin, insisted however that no active Russian military personnel had crossed the border into the former Soviet state. "There are no Russian soldiers" in eastern Ukraine, he said.

"There is only one unit of Russian soldiers as they unintentionally crossed the border a couple days ago," he said, referring to 10 paratroopers that Kiev said it had captured on Tuesday.