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NATO Says Russia Still Has 1000 Troops in Eastern Ukraine

A pro-Russian separatist guards his position at a checkpoint outside the village of Kreminets near the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Sept. 4, 2014.

BRUSSELS — Russia still has about 1,000 troops in eastern Ukraine, a NATO military officer said Thursday, casting doubt on reports of a reduction in Russian forces there.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Wednesday that he had information that 70 percent of Russian troops who had been in Ukraine had been moved back across the border.

"The reported reduction of Russian troops from eastern Ukraine would be a good first step, but we have no information on this. The fact of the matter is there are still approximately 1,000 Russian troops in eastern Ukraine with substantial amounts of military equipment and approximately 20,000 troops on the Russian border with Ukraine," the NATO military officer said.

However, NATO had said last week that it estimated several thousand Russian combat troops were in Ukraine.

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