Ukraine Claims ‘Thousands’ of Russian Troops Invaded, Offers No Evidence

Rebels Advance, But No Sign of Putative Russian Backing

Ukrainian officials are now claiming a Russian invasion of four to five thousand ground troops backed by columns of tanks and other armored vehicles, a dramatic escalation from yesterday’s claims of about 1,000 such troops.

As with yesterday’s allegations, Ukraine is offering no evidence to back up the claims, and the reports coming out of the region suggest such a massive invasion is not likely to be happening at all.

Ukraine’s government not offering backup for its allegations is nothing new, but is particularly conspicuous today, as media provides images of the few hundred rebel fighters’ advance in southeastern Ukraine, but offers nothing to support the claims that thousands of Russian troops and armor are traveling with them.

The US, which had been rubber stamping Ukrainian allegations for months, seems to be particularly hesitant this time, and is saying they can’t independently confirm any of the allegations being made this time. President Obama, who was eager to exploit the claims to push more sanctions, still did not lend any credence to the claims actually being true, and yesterday said nothing the US saw happening in the east was a “shift” in Russian policy.

Ukraine’s wild allegations have become so common and so often untrue that they have very little credibility left, and indeed this is the third separate invasion they’ve alleged to have taken place in the past week.

So far, the only “invasion” that had any truth to it at all was the one where Russian trucks delivered humanitarian aid to the city of Luhansk, and while Ukraine was eager to chalk it up to a military invasion, the trucks left the following day.

As with the phantom “column” on armored vehicles Ukraine claimed to have destroyed earlier this month, the lack of photographic evidence speaks volumes, and the allegations seem to be aimed primarily at getting increased “emergency aid” as opposed to informing people about the actual situation on the ground.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.