The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Border Department for the Rostov region has formally denied the allegations by Ukrainian border officials that cars carrying weapons and armed men crossed the border from Russia into Ukraine.
"The Russian FSB Border Department for the Rostov region does not confirm the instance of illegal crossings of the Russian-Ukrainian border," the Department said in a statement obtained by Interfax-AVN on Tuesday.
"Several Ukrainian and Russian media outlets, citing an official report from the Ukrainian State Border Service, disseminated information about illegal crossings of the national border from Russia into Ukraine by several vehicles allegedly carrying weapons and armed men," the statement said.
This morning Ukrainian television channels reported, citing the Ukrainian State Border Service, that one man had been killed and yet another severely injured during attempted illegal crossings of the national border in the Luhansk region in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
"At around 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday, border guards spotted a convoy of several trucks, cars and minibuses that were moving from the direction of Russia toward the state border of Ukraine. At 3:40 a.m., the convoy crossed the state border, where it encountered armed resistance on the part of the border guard unit. A gun battle ensued. Some of the trespassers, having left a covering group behind, still managed to cross into Ukraine in the direction of Antratsyt," the Ukrainian border guard press service said.
As a result of the armed clash, the border guards seriously injured one person and damaged and seized one minibus and two cars, it said.
"The seized vehicles were filled with Kalashnikov assault rifles, hand-held grenade launchers and explosives," the press service said.
For its part, the Ukrainian president's press office said earlier that a group of gunmen had attempted to break through the Ukrainian state border from Novoprokhorovka (in Russia's Rostov region), but five of them had been neutralized and one taken captive. "At night a group of armed men arriving from the Russian village of Novoprokhorovka attempted to break through the state border of Ukraine in cars. The border guards prevented this attempt, destroying three cars with weapons and neutralizing five militants, taking one captive. Other terrorists escaped back to Russian territory," the report said.
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