KAMENSK-SHAKHTINSKY, Russia (AP) – NATO on Friday said a Russian military column ventured overnight into Ukraine, and the Ukrainian president said his forces destroyed most of it. Russia denied all of this, but the reports spooked global markets and overshadowed optimism driven by agreement over a Russian aid convoy bound for eastern Ukraine.
The Russian aid convoy of more than 250 trucks has been a source of tensions since it set off from Moscow on Tuesday. Kiev and the West were suspicious that the mission could be a pretext for a Russian military incursion into eastern Ukraine, where government forces are waging intensifying battles with pro-Russia separatists and clawing back rebel-held territory.
Throughout the eastern crisis that erupted in April, there have been consistent allegations that Russia is fomenting or directing the rebellion. Moscow rejects the allegations.