The U.S. joined NATO and in warning about the risk of Russia sending troops into its neighbor, with Russia calling reports of a military buildup on its western border “groundless.” The threat of an incursion is “reality,” U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in .The government in Kiev estimates Russia has deployed 45,000 soldiers, 160 tanks and 192 warplanes among other equipment along its border, including soldiers stationed in Crimea. NATO said there’s a threat of Russian troops crossing the border under the “pretext” of a humanitarian mission.
Russia denies involvement in the Ukrainian conflict.
Fighting between separatists and Ukrainian troops continued in the city of Donetsk, where tens of thousands of the city’s 1 million people have fled amid civilian deaths, power cuts and water shortages. Artillery was used overnight and today, killing at least seven people dying and wounding more than a dozen, the city council said on its website.