Ukrainian military intelligence says that Russia has boosted its military support for separatist formations in parts of eastern Ukraine in recent weeks and that the "active recruitment of mercenaries" has been stepped up in Russia.
In a statement posted on Facebook on January 21, the agency said more than 7,000 tons of fuel, tanks, self-propelled artillery, and other weapons and ordnance had been sent into Ukraine from Russia in recent weeks.
Moscow denies military involvement in the war in eastern Ukraine, despite compelling evidence that it has provided military, economic, and political support to the separatist formations controlling parts of Ukraine’s Luhansk and Donetsk regions since the conflict erupted in early 2014.
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The Ukrainian military intelligence statement also said recruitment centers in Russia had increased efforts to recruit mercenaries to fight in eastern Ukraine.
The claims come against the background of a large Russian military buildup along its border with Ukraine and in the Russia-occupied Ukrainian region of Crimea.
Authorities in Kyiv and Western governments have said Moscow could be preparing a direct military intervention in Ukraine, an accusation that Moscow denies.
The top diplomats of the United States, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom met in Berlin on January 20 and warned Moscow of a "swift, severe response" and "grave consequences" in the event of further escalation of the conflict.