Russia accused of "direct involvement" in conflict

KIEV -- U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt claims that Russia is "directly involved" in the fighting between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian government forces.

(Beta/AP, file)
(Beta/AP, file)

A large number of Russian soldiers are directly involved in the fighting in the Ukrainian territory, he posted on Twitter.

According to the U.S. diplomat, Moscow is directly involved in the conflict, and recently sent air defense weapons, including Pantsir-S1s - mobile anti-aircraft artillery surface-to-air systems with short to medium range missiles.

A spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that the influx of Russian troops and weapons to Ukraine was a big problem and had to stop.

Western countries and Ukraine claim that Russia is directly involved in the escalation of the conflict, while Moscow denies that it is directly helping the separatists.