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Ukraine's president accused Moscow of deploying officers in the violence-plagued east of the country and said a new Russian missile system was being used against his forces. The statement on President Petro Poroshenko's website adds to renewed rhetoric between the former Soviet allies after a weekend of violence along the border.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's National and Security Council claimed that "terrorists and Russian mercenaries" - referring to pro-Moscow separatists - had tried to bring Russian military equipment into the country. "The events of the last few days show that the Russian side has embarked on a course of escalation of the conflict," spokesman Andriy Lysenko told Reuters. On Sunday, Moscow threatened Ukraine with "irreversible consequences" after a man was killed in Russia by a shell fired across the border from Ukraine. Kiev said the allegation that its forces were responsible was "total nonsense."


Reuters contributed to this report.

- Albina Kovalyova and Alexander Smith