The high-altitude images released Sunday “provide evidence” ( here pdf Photo) that Russian forces have fired across the border at Ukrainian military forces, and that Russia-backed separatists have used heavy artillery, provided by Russia, in attacks on Ukrainian forces from inside Ukraine, according to labels on the pictures provided by the U.S, government.
Those Russian missiles (similar to the one though to have downed a civilian jet 2011) have taken down at least five aircraft in the past 10 days, including Malaysian Airlines Flight 17. Since the downing of Flight 17, a civilian jet, the flow of heavy arms into eastern Ukraine has drastically increased.
“This is what is normally refereed to as acts of war by one state against another, said Swedish FM Carl Bildt.
The crisis in Ukraine reminds us of the very real possibility of war in Europe. Several senior American military and intelligence officials are also arguing that if Mr Putin does not encounter significant resistance to Russia´s moves in Ukraine, he may be emboldened to go further.
The most recent photograph, taken Saturday, shows what are described as “blast marks” from rocket launcher fire on the Russian side of the border and “impact craters” inside Ukraine.
Secretary of state John Kerry supported sharing with the Ukrainians satellite photographs and other evidence of the movement of troops and equipment along the Ukrainian-Russian border.
The Obama administration has said that “direct Russian participation in Ukraine, along with Moscow´s failure to use its influence on the separatists to allow international inspectors access to the site of the July 17 Malaysian airliner crash inside separatist territory, should lead to increased sanctions against Russia”.
OSCE have been the European advisors on the ground situation and they are the one who are negotiating with the separatists when it comes to getting access to the site.