NATO Alleges Increased Russian Military Involvement, Casualties in Ukraine

NATO officials confirmed that Russian military vehicles and armor columns have again entered Ukraine. Vehicles ranging from tanks, artillery transport vehicles and armored personnel carriers were seen crossing the Ukrainian southeastern border. The nature of the crossing appears to be to twofold, with Russia actively seeking to reinforce pro-Russia rebels inhabiting Donetsk on one hand, and to collect the bodies of fallen Russian soldiers on the other.

NATO officials have unsurprisingly criticized the move, which they suspect has been made in order to prepare for a renewed round of violence between the Ukrainian military and the current inhabitants of Donetsk. Technically, a truce between the two sides still remains, though artillery exchanges are already commonplace, and casualities have been taken on both sides, bringing the total to over 4,000.

Russian personnel carriers carrying the label of “Cargo 200” have been spotted traveling from Russia to Ukraine. Cargo 200 is Russian military code for soldiers killed in action, and suggests that Russian soldiers have not only served in an advisory capacity to rebel groups, but also provided support in confronting Ukrainian military. The vehicles were likely dispatched in order to provide deceased Russian soldiers with burial according to Russian military protocols.

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