WASHINGTON — The U.S. government Sunday added weight to its allegations that Russia is deeply involved in the battles in Eastern Ukraine, releasing evidence on Sunday of Russia shelling eastern Ukraine from across the border and of separatists in the area using heavy weapons provided by Russia against the Ukrainian military.
The images from the Director of National Intelligence, released by the State Department on Sunday morning, further bolster the evidence that points to Russia's deep involvement in destabilizing eastern Ukraine and backing pro-Russian separatists who wish to break away from Ukraine.
Moscow has cast the rebellion as a local affair, and denied accusations that it is a product of the Russian security apparatus.
This image shows evidence that "multiple rocket launchers" in Russia fired towards Ukrainian military positions in Ukraine, according to DNI:
The second image provided by DNI shows evidence of more strikes from across the border into Ukraine, with "artillery only found in Russian military units," according to DNI.
The third DNI slide is, the agency says, a close-up of the strike shown in the previous slide.
And the final image released by the government shows "ground scarring at two multiple rocket launch sites oriented in the direction of Ukrainian military units," according to the DNI release. The rockets were launched from within Ukraine.
On Wednesday, a Russian soldier, Vadim Grigoriev, posted several photos of Russian artillery positions on Russian Facebook clone VK with the caption, "We pounded Ukraine all night." After Ukrainian media noticed his posts, Grigoriev deleted his profile and told Russian state media that his account had been hacked.
The State Department had previously accused Russia of shelling Ukraine from across the border, but had not released evidence for this until now.