KYIV (Reuters) – Two Ukrainian servicemen have been killed by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine in the past 24 hours, the Ukrainian military said on Tuesday, adding to already escalating tensions.
Kyiv said Russia has stepped up its forces near Ukraine’s eastern borders in recent weeks and reports of separatist attacks on Ukrainian government forces have increased dramatically.
NATO has expressed concern over the strengthening of the Russian military in the Donbass region, where Ukrainian troops clashed with Russian-backed separatist forces in a conflict that has been estimated to have killed 14,000 since. 2014.
Moscow and Kiev have long accused each other of not having implemented a peace agreement in the region.
The Kremlin said on Monday that Russian military movements near its common border with Ukraine posed no threat to Ukraine or anyone else and that Moscow was moving troops to its country as it saw fit.
The United States, Britain, the European Union and NATO countries have expressed support for Ukraine.
The United States finds reports of Russian military movements on the Ukrainian border “credible”, has asked Moscow to explain the “provocations” and is ready to engage in the situation, the department said on Monday. US state.
Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Andrew Heavens