This was announced by Andrii Lukianets, head of Defense Ministry General Intelligence Department, Censor.NET reports citing Ukrainski Novyny.
"The total number of occupants remains the same - slightly more than 8,000 people according to our calculations, 8,390 serviceman to be precise," he said.
According to intelligence reports, Russian military personnel in the Donbas have moved away from the contact line into the territory, closer to the Ukrainian-Russian border. Lukianets also noted militants have increased from Nov. 2 the number of attacks on ATO forces positions. Some 50 attacks have been recorded since then.
According to the ministry, militants are using new tactics - groups of 20-30 people and 2-3 vehicles come close to the demarcation line, shell Ukrainian military positions and roll back into the occupied territory.
Lukianets admits militants use the deterioration of situation in ATO area to put pressure on Ukraine before the meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs of Ukraine, France, Germany, and Russia.
Lukianets notes separatist military units have almost completed their training and are ready for independent combat operations. "Militants have almost reached their goal - conducting operations with their own units independently, involving Russian forces near the border only when necessary," he said.