No, its not us. It's those other people in that parallel dimension that are firing missiles, making them look like they are coming from Russia. We would never do that. Or, it's the Ukrainian military somehow making it look like missiles are coming from Russia by sending their secret agents over here. Or something like that.
WASHINGTON—The U.S. believes Russia is firing artillery across its border at Ukrainian military positions, the State Department said on Thursday, an assertion that Moscow is playing a more direct role in the Ukrainian conflict.
The latest accusations show U.S. officials raising pressure on Moscow and more closely examining Russian activities near the rebel-held portions of eastern Ukraine since the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which Washington blames on pro-Russian separatist fighters.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf also said the U.S. has evidence that Russia intends to deliver powerful rocket systems to the pro-Russia fighters in Ukraine, but declined to provide details about the systems or about how officials came to that conclusion.
"We have new evidence that the Russians intend to deliver heavier and more powerful multiple rocket launchers to the separatist forces in Ukraine and have evidence that Russia is firing artillery from within Russia to attack Ukrainian military positions," Ms. Harf told reporters at a news briefing, calling the findings "some pieces of info I've been able to get from our intelligence friends."
Russia has repeatedly denied supporting the separatist fighters. Moscow denounced as fantasy previous charges by Kiev that missiles fired from Russia brought down two Ukrainian military planes on Wednesday.
As has been said by The Interpreter, if MH-17 had not been shot down last week, then Russia firing missiles into Ukraine would have been the big story.
If it weren't for MH17, the Ukraine headline of the week would be the fact that my team at The Interpreter actually proved that Russia was shelling Ukraine with GRAD rockets. The Buks that shot down MH17 either came from Russia or would have needed a highly trained team of specialists (with matching launch key-cards), a crew that could have been trained only in the Russian military. Wednesday, separatists shot down two more Ukrainian military jets, so there are plenty more Russian anti-aircraft missiles still in rebel hands.
The veil has been dropped. Russia is driving this conflict, feeding the flames by providing the rebels with tanks, anti-aircraft missiles, fighters, and perhaps most importantly, cover in the international community.
This crisis exists because Russia wants it to exist. It's time for the international community to realize that Putin is not a reliable partner in solving it.
Related links: U.S. Says Russian Artillery Firing Across Border Into Ukraine ~ Wall Street Journal