At least one Ukrainian armored vehicle crossed the Russian border with Ukraine Friday overnight and stopped in the Rostov Region, according to Russia’s Security Service. The military abandoned the vehicle and returned to Ukraine.
The Ukrainian armored vehicle stopped in near the village of Millerovo, said the head of the press department of the Federal Security Service (FSB) in Rostov Region, Vasily Malaev.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Foreign Ministry to issue a formal protest to Ukraine’s government, said his press secretary Dmitry Peskov.
There are also reports that there was not one, but two armored vehicles. A source from the FSB told LifeNews Channel that two armored vehicles crossed the Russian border.
Initially just one APC entered Russian territory, however it broke down, LifeNews was told. It was discovered by the Border Service, however, Russia’s troops failed to take the Ukrainian military personnel captive as another armored vehicle came to the rescue from Ukraine’s Lugansk Region.
After that the Ukrainian troops fled the territory, returning to Ukraine, leaving the dsabled vehicle behind in Russia.
In response to the incident, the Ukrainian Border Service said that the military was surrounded by self-defense forces so they were forced to cross the Russian border to reach new locations of their units, NTV TV channel reported. Border authorities also assured that all 26 border officers returned to Ukraine via another checkpoint.
Earlier on Friday, NATO warned that if reports that Russian tanks have breached the Ukrainian border are confirmed, it would be serious escalation of the conflict.
"We have seen reports that Russian tanks and other armored vehicles may have crossed the border into eastern Ukraine. If these reports are confirmed, this would mark a serious escalation of the crisis in eastern Ukraine," NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Friday.