For months Russia has denied any level of military involvement in eastern Ukraine, but the steady stream of military tanks and vehicles clogging the borders, regular artillery battles in Donetsk, and now sightings of soldiers in green uniforms without insignia all suggest that the ceasefire agreement reached in September has crumbled, reports the New York Times. Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council has held its 26th emergency meeting on Ukraine, while NATO's top military commander says he's "concerned about convoys of trucks taking artillery and supplies into east Ukraine."
One official says there have been three sightings of military convoys totaling 126 vehicles in Donetsk this week, where rebels have been talking openly for weeks about a planned offensive. Moscow is calling worry from the West "regular blasts of hot air." One spokesman for Ukraine's military, however, announced yesterday that five truckloads of dead Russian fighters were driven back to Russia Tuesday night. The Times reports that acknowledging the ceasefire has failed would reflect poorly on Ukraine, Russia, and the West, yet the daily skirmishes throughout the country appear to be growing in number and strength, suggesting a grim winter ahead. (Last week Ukraine said 32 tanks and 30 trucks crossed the border from Russia.)