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A window broken by a recent shelling is pictured in the village of Vesyoloye (Vesele) in the Donetsk Region, self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Eastern Ukraine. © Sputnik
Moscow has warned that fighting is escalating in eastern Ukraine, insisting that the region must avoid a full-scale conflict, as Kiev asks NATO to step up its local combat readiness and says the US would come to its aid in a war.
Speaking to journalists on Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that a series of military clashes in the Donbass region was a cause for concern. “Unfortunately for us,” he said, “the reality on the line of contact is quite frightening, and not just one, but many, provocations by the Ukrainian Armed Forces are taking place.”
A house on Stratonautov Street in the village of Veseloye, Donetsk region, which was damaged during the fighting in the DPR. © RIA
Russia has warned that it would regard any deployment of Western troops in Ukraine as a serious provocation, after Kiev asked NATO to step up its local combat readiness and claimed the US would come to its aid in any future war.
On Friday, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry issued a statement saying that it had received guarantees of American support after a telephone call with Washington’s top military official, Pentagon chief Lloyd Austen. “The US Secretary of Defense stressed that in the event of an escalation of Russian aggression, the United States will not leave Ukraine alone,” the Ministry said.
Asked about the prospects of a standoff in the region, Peskov warned that this could begin a potentially dangerous chain of events. The Kremlin official said that “undoubtedly, such a developing scenario would lead to a further increase in tensions near Russia’s borders. Of course, this will require additional measures from the Russian side to ensure its security.”