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 US: Russian-Directed Counteroffensive Is Underway in Ukraine

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State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Wednesday that Russian incursions in southeastern Ukraine “indicate a Russian-directed counteroffensive is likely underway in Donetsk and Luhansk.”

Ukraine reported that pro-Russian rebel forces entered a strategically critical town in the southeast on Wednesday, Censor.NET reports citing Freebeacon.

"We've also seen reports of separatists shelling residential areas in a coastal town between the border and Mariupol, and we have seen reports of heavy fighting and shelling near the city and airport in Donetsk," Psaki told reporters.

Read also: Merkel Asks Putin to "Clear Up" Russian Military Incursion into Ukraine

Psaki said the news was "of deep concern to us."

"We're also concerned by the Russian government's unwillingness to tell the truth even as its soldiers are found 30 miles inside Ukraine," Psaki said. "Russia is sending its young men into Ukraine, but are telling - are not telling them where they're going or telling their parents what they're doing."

Read also: Russian Soldier: My Unit Supplied Military Equipment to Terrorists - Grads, IFVs and APCs. VIDEO

A reporter asked Psaki why she used the word "likely" rather than outright confirming that a counteroffensive is underway.

"I decided to say 'likely,'" Psaki replied.

"I wouldn't be saying it," she added, "if we weren't as concerned as my comments indicate."

 
 
 
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