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    A boy sits on a swing near a building, which was damaged during fighting between Kiev and Donbass forces, as an armoured personnel carrier (APC) of the Ukrainian armed forces is seen nearby in Avdeyevka near Donetsk. June 7, 2015.

    Russian Military Denies Bellingcat's Claims Over Involvement in Donbass Conflict

    © REUTERS / Gleb Garanich
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    The Russian Defense Ministry dismissed on Thursday a report by a group of the so-called 'independent investigative journalists' implicating the direct involvement of the Russian military in the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Bellingcat blogger group has posted a report, which counts thousands of military medals awarded to Russian soldiers in 2014-2015. The report implicates a link between a sharp increase in awards and the combat action in Donbass.

    "Ever since the so-called 'bloggers-investigators' from Bellingcat appeared in Britain, we stated on many occasions that they are simply a front for publication of anti-Russian propaganda materials," ministry's spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said in a statement circulated in ministry's blogs in social networks.

    "The latest material on military medals…is not an exception," Konashenkov said.

    According to the spokesman, the increase in the number of servicemen awarded with medals in 2014-2016 is related to the growing number and intensity of snap drills, as well as to ensuring security at Sochi Olympics and to counter-terrorism operations in North Caucasus.

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    Tags:
    report, Bellingcat, Russian Ministry of Defense, Donbass, Ukraine, Russia
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