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Ukraine says Russian forces are in major rebel cities

Ukraine says Russian military forces have been spotted in Donetsk and Luhansk, both held by rebels in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine's defense minister says the country is now fighting the Russian army -- not just the pro-Russian separatists -- in a war that could cost "tens of thousands" of lives. (Brendan Hoffman, Getty Images)
Ukraine says Russian military forces have been spotted in Donetsk and Luhansk, both held by rebels in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine's defense minister says the country is now fighting the Russian army -- not just the pro-Russian separatists -- in a war that could cost "tens of thousands" of lives. (Brendan Hoffman, Getty Images)
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Updated: 9/02 8:15 am

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — A Ukrainian official says Russian military forces have been spotted in both of the major cities held by rebels in eastern Ukraine.

And that has prompted Ukraine to declare that it now has to fight the Russian army -- not just the pro-Russian separatists -- in a war that Ukraine's defense minister says could cost "tens of thousands" of lives.

A spokesman for Ukraine's National Security Council says Russian troops have been seen in the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, and in other locations throughout the east. The claim couldn't be independently confirmed.

Meanwhile, in Moscow, a Kremlin aide is sharply criticizing the president of the EU Commission for quoting Russian President Vladimir Putin as saying Moscow could take over Kiev in two weeks if it wished. The Kremlin says it was a breach of confidentiality, and that Putin was "taken out of context."


©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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