KIEV, August 6 (RIA Novosti) – A Ukrainian military spokesman officially confirmed Wednesday that foreigners are taking part in a special operation in eastern Ukraine, but denied that the Kiev government receives military hardware and weapons from abroad.
“It is untrue that foreign weapons are being used [in the military operation]. But it is true that representatives of other nations take part in the anti-terrorist operation, as was reported on numerous occasions. They are from Italy, Georgia, Belarus and even Russia. … The Ukrainian army has no [military] hardware, tanks and other weapons [supplied by foreign states],” said Oleksiy Dmytrashkovsky, the military operation’s spokesman.
Earlier on Wednesday, it was reported that foreign mercenaries are now fighting independence supporters in eastern Ukraine with their own weapons and hardware. Russian Foreign Ministry said back in May that the information about Western mercenaries operating in Ukraine might be true.
The fighting in eastern Ukraine broke out in mid-April, when, following the February 22 coup, the newly-instated Ukrainian government launched a military operation in order to suppress the independence supporters who refused to acknowledge the new authorities. Hundreds of people, including civilian population, have died over the past months.
Moscow described the actions of Kiev as a punitive operation and has several times called on the Ukrainian government to cease the bloodshed.