Over the weekend, the US released “proof that not only is Russia delivering heavy artillery for pro-Russian rebels, but it is actually firing rockets in eastern Ukraine from its own territory.” Rosie Gray collects further evidence:
On Wednesday, a Russian soldier, Vadim Grigoriev, posted several photos of Russian artillery positions on Russian Facebook clone VK with the caption, “We pounded Ukraine all night.” After Ukrainian media noticed his posts, Grigoriev deleted his profile and told Russian state media that his account had been hacked.
The State Department had previously accused Russia of shelling Ukraine from across the border, but had not released evidence for this until now.
Meanwhile, Kate Brannen keeps tabs on the “steady buildup of Russian troops along the border with Ukraine”:
The U.S. Ambassador to NATO, Douglas Lute, told the Aspen Security Forum Friday that 15,000 Russian troops were amassed along the border with Ukraine. U.S. officials say that Putin had 28,000 troops deployed along the Russian-Ukrainian border earlier this year, but withdrew all but roughly 1,000 of the soldiers in the run-up to June ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. Since then, however, Putin has returned roughly 15,000 troops to the border, effectively restoring half of the initial drawdown.