UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Russia's U.N. ambassador is defending his country's actions in Ukraine, saying the government there is "waging war against its own people."
He spoke at a meeting of the U.N. Security Council, following reports from NATO and Ukrainian officials that Russian troops had invaded Ukraine.
A U.N. official told the council that the latest violence in Ukraine marked a dangerous escalation, but that the U.N. has no way of verifying the reports of a Russian invasion.
A top NATO official said earlier today that at least 1,000 Russian troops have entered Ukraine with sophisticated equipment and have been in direct "contact" with Ukrainian soldiers, resulting in casualties. And a Ukrainian official said two columns of Russian tanks and military vehicles fired missiles from Russia at a Ukraine border post, then rolled into the country.
At the emergency Security Council meeting today, U.S. ambassador Samantha Power said Russia has "manipulated" and has "outright lied."
Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin didn't deny the presence of Russian soldiers in Ukraine. But he questioned the presence of Western advisers there, and also asked where Ukrainian troops are getting their weapons.
He said his message to Washington is to "stop interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign states."
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