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Russia Says Border Facility Near Ukraine Destroyed in Shell Attack

Viideo published by the FSB showed what appeared to be a destroyed small cabin next to a dirt road in the village of Scherbakovo. Natalia Podolskaya / YouTube

A projectile fired from Ukraine has destroyed a building used by Russia’s border force near the frontier with separatist-held eastern Ukraine, Moscow said Monday — the latest in a series of claims of escalating incidents on both sides of the border. 

“At 9:50 a.m., an unidentified projectile fired from Ukraine completely destroyed a border facility used by the FSB border guard service in the Rostov region, around 150 meters from the Russian-Ukrainian border,” Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said in a statement published by state news agencies. 

No injuries were reported.

Viideo published by the FSB showed what appeared to be a destroyed small cabin next to a dirt road in the village of Scherbakovo.

The cabin is described as a facility for border patrols.

The FSB’s announcement follows a series of claims by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine of increased shelling by Ukrainian forces. 

Kyiv has denied taking offensive actions and says its soldiers are under strict orders not to escalate tensions in the region.

The Ukrainian military on Monday denied shelling the Russian border facility, calling Moscow's claim "fake news."

"We couldn't stop them producing this fake news, but we always emphasize that we do not shoot at civilian infrastructure, or into some territory in the Rostov region or whatever," Ukrainian military spokesman Pavlo Kovalchuk told reporters.

Ukraine and its Western allies have voiced concerns that Russia could use alleged Ukrainian attacks as a pretext to mount an invasion into Ukraine. 

Kyiv has also reported increased shelling by Russian-backed forces, including the shelling of a kindergarten last week which left two injured. 

The so-called line of contact between Ukrainian forces and separatist-held territory has seen a dramatic increase in ceasefire violations since last Thursday, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has reported.

Two Ukrainian soldiers were killed in fighting Saturday, Ukraine’s President Volodymr Zelenskiy told the Munich Security Conference that day. 

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Sunday that tensions around eastern Ukraine are at their “maximum” point since the standoff began, warning that “any spark or provocation could have irreversible consequences.” 

Ukrainian officials said Monday that Russia has amassed almost 150,000 troops near the border, with troops and equipment potentially poised to strike from three sides, should President Vladimir Putin give the order to invade.

AFP contributed reporting.

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