Updated 11:50 a.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, October 3 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Defense Ministry on Friday denied claims by Ukraine's Defense Minister Valeriy Heletei that Russia has allegedly delivered arms to eastern Ukraine.
"It's time the Ukrainian military leaders stop scaring the global community with a non-existent Russian threat while hiding the sorry condition of its army and the senselessness of a military operation against civilians in Donbas," an official spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry said.
On Thursday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Heletei accused Russia of delivering new ammunition to Ukraine, and demonstrated three 7.62 mm shells that he pulled out of his pants pocket to journalists.
"This type of ammunition is produced throughout the territory of the former Soviet Union, including in Luhansk's ammunitions factory. The last modernization of this ammunition was in 1974, when the Soviet Armed Forces switched to its main standard of 5.45 mm," the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said.
He added that neither the Soviet nor the Russian Army had ordered the modernization of the 7.62-mm caliber since 1974.
Since the Ukrainian conflict escalated, Kiev officials, including the Defense Ministry, have been unjustifiably accusing Russia of sending troops to Ukraine and of providing independence supporters in eastern regions with weapons. However, the accusations have never been supported with evidence.
Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement in the Ukrainian conflict, which has claimed over 3,500 lives, and in contrary, played a vital role in de-escalation of the crisis. Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a peace plan to resolve the conflict two days before Kiev and the eastern regions of Ukraine reached a ceasefire agreement on September 5 in Minsk