Russia firing artillery into Ukraine, US says - KCTV5

Russia firing artillery into Ukraine, US says

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Russia's military has been launching artillery attacks on Ukraine national forces in an effort to boost separatists, the U.S. says. (Source: CBS) Russia's military has been launching artillery attacks on Ukraine national forces in an effort to boost separatists, the U.S. says. (Source: CBS)

WASHINGTON, DC (CBS) - Not every video can be verified, but U.S. officials say that half a dozen times over the past two weeks Russia has fired barrages from its own territory into Ukraine. The barrages, which Russian soldiers have been bragging about on the Internet, last about a half hour and appear to be aimed at Ukrainian military units fighting the separatist rebels.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said Russian President Vladimir Putin shows no sign of being cowed by the international condemnation of Russia's alleged role in the shoot down of the Malaysian airliner.

"There may be some folks who could convince themselves that Putin would be looking for a reason to de-escalate. He's actually taken a decision to escalate," Dempsey said.

The shelling began at the same time Russia increased the flow of weapons to the rebels in Ukraine, including tanks, artillery, multiple rocket launchers and apparently the surface to air missile which shot down the airliner.

The weapons are identical to those in the arsenals of the Ukrainian military allowing the rebels to claim they captured them on the battlefield. They are coming from a base in southern Russia where a much larger caliber rocket launcher has been spotted in recent days. A comparison of photos from June and July show how much the supply base has expanded in the past month.

Both the shelling and the arms shipments are apparently being driven by the fact that the rebels have suffered a string of reverses at the hands of the Ukrainian military.

Copyright 2014 CBS. All rights reserved.

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