Russia Accused of Invading Ukraine
August 29, 2014 • 9:18AM

The crisis in southeastern Ukraine escalated dramatically, Thursday morning, when Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia of having invaded his country. "Russian forces have actually entered Ukraine," he said, while Ukrainian fighters in the south-east said Russian forces had helped separatists take over the border town of Novoazovsk. Poroshenko convened an urgent meeting of Ukraine's national security council, cancelled the visit he had planned to Turkey, and asked for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the crisis.

The meeting served mainly as a forum by which the United States, Britain, Ukraine, and their allies could accuse Russia of violating Ukrainian sovereignty. It was cut short after about an hour, with no official result.

U.S., British, and NATO officials immediately issued statements backing up Kiev. US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, Thursday, that "It's clear that Russia has not only stepped up its presence in eastern Ukraine and intervening directly with combat forces, armored vehicles, artillery, and service to air systems, and is acting — and is actively fighting Ukrainian forces as well as playing a direct supporting role to the separatists proxies and mercenaries." [Punctuated as published—ed.] US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power told the UN Security Council, during its emergency meeting Thursday, that Russia must "stop lying" about its invasion of eastern Ukraine and its direct military support for pro-Kremlin separatists there. She was echoed by British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant. Geoffrey Pyatt, the US Ambassador in Kiev, tweeted that since Russian-supplied weapons had not secured victory for the rebels, there was now an "increasing number of Russian troops ... intervening directly in fighting on Ukrainian territory."

British Prime Minister David Cameron called on Russia "to pursue a different path and to find a political solution to this crisis. If Russia does not, then she should be in no doubt that there will be further consequences."

NATO released satellite images, Thursday, that purported to show Russian self-propelled artillery moving in a convoy inside Ukraine, and then setting up firing positions in the area of Krasnodon. No verification of location is available or possible.