It makes no sense to comment in detail on the satellite imagery released by NATO as “proof” of Russia’s military involvement in Ukraine, Defense Ministry’s spokesman said, pointing out that even high NATO officials were hesitant to put their names on it.
Referring to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Supreme Allied Commander Europe Philip Breedlove, and NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu, Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov ridiculed the so-called NATO proof.
“You know, it has become ridiculous… If earlier, someone would at least put their names on those images, be it Breedlove, Rasmussen, or even Lungescu, now, they are hesitant,” Konashenkov said as cited by RIA Novosti. “It makes no sense to seriously comment on this.”
The General also criticized western media outlets for accepting such images and anti-Russian stance at face value.
“The phrase ‘NATO published satellite shots of Russian troops' presence in Ukraine’ has become as common in recent months as the famous ‘British scientists have discovered…" Konashenkov said, referring to a media cliché often ridiculed in Russia. “Usually those words are followed by the results of some new crazy research that has no practical sense whatsoever.”
“Apparently, the new Secretary General of NATO in the near future will have to exert much effort in order to restore the severely tainted image of the alliance as a high-status international organization,” Konashenkov added.
The Defense Ministry statement follows a war-mongering media rhetoric blaming Russia for invading Ukraine, after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday, accused Russia for violating its sovereignty and called on the UN Security Council to assess the situation.
Simultaneous to Kiev's accusations, NATO made public satellite images that were offered as “proof” that Russian self-propelled artillery was on the Ukrainian territory, as well as about 1,000 Russian troops taking part in special operations in eastern Ukraine. The images, as usual, were provided by a commercial company DigitalGlobe operating civilian satellites. The images were not altered or edited with NATO experts only adding extra information for the general public to understand what they are looking for.
The US as always sided with Poroshenko's statements and NATO-offered evidence, with US Department of State spokesperson Jen Psaki saying that Washington has “no reason to doubt their [NATO's] assessment.”
Meanwhile both the head of OSCE’s Ukrainian monitoring team and Russia's representative said there was no Russian presence spotted across the Ukraine border, refuting claims that a full-scale invasion was underway.
On Thursday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Russian troops had entered Ukraine. The statement came as NATO released satellite images that it claimed showed Russian self-propelled artillery on Ukrainian territory. The alliance said about 1,000 Russian servicemen were taking part in hostilities in eastern Ukraine.
Russia's permanent representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov also said neither NATO, the United States or the European Union have presented any evidence of Russian troop presence in the east of Ukraine.
According to him, the “stuffing of misinformation through the media and directly from Kiev” each time is carried out on the eve of important meetings at the EU level, this time ahead of the summit on August 30 in Brussels, “probably in anticipation of some critical language and even sanctions from the EU,” Itar-Tass quotes.
And indeed, US President Barack Obama joined the chorus of anti-Russian rhetoric on Thursday, warning Moscow that more sanctions are in the works as the US is currently in consultation with its “European allies” ahead of a NATO meeting next week.