NEWSWATCH: Russians present in Ukraine in specialist roles: U.S. envoy

Douglas Lute file photo

[“Russians present in Ukraine in specialist roles: U.S. envoy” – Reuters – February 4, 2015]

Reuters reports on clarifications by U.S. ambassador to NATO Douglas Lute that Russian troops in eastern Ukraine are in a command role and are operating sophisticated military equipment, while additional Russia military interventions do not appear imminent.

‘Back in August, we saw a spike in direct Russian intervention in the form of Russian military units. We saw Russian battalions as coherent formations deployed into Ukraine,’ Lute told a news briefing …

‘We don’t see another such direct intervention (by Russian units) as imminent’ ….

However … Russian intelligence operatives and soldiers, in and out of uniform, had been …in southeastern Ukraine since the beginning of the armed rebellion …

‘They have a sort of parallel command structure that shadows the separatists’ command structure in an effort to control what is going on ….’

‘They are only partly successful … We don’t think that they have absolute control over the separatist movements, but we think they are trying …’

‘There are Russian soldiers in southeastern Ukraine today operating the more sophisticated Russian hardware that has been provided to the separatist movement’ …

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