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Added by on 2014-09-01

by Henry Hullah NATO satellites, journalists on the ground and Ukrainian officials have all reported Russian troops in Ukrainian territory, but how much longer can Russia claim it has no military presence in Eastern Ukraine? “Russia will say that until it really has some forces on the ground. As at this point, definitely we don’t have any.” answered Russian Member of Parliament Vyacheslav Nikonov. He told Michael Holmes, sitting in for Christiane Amanpour, that the Russian government had not been providing weapons, such as T-72 tanks which the MP insisted came from Hungary, to separatists and also had nothing to do with the current state of Ukraine. “It is a completely domestic Ukrainian mess and people living there, in the eastern part of Ukraine, are mostly Russian. So I think it’s very understandable why Russia emotionally is there. Though Russian troops are definitely not there.” With high stakes and emotional investment in the dire situation of those in the Eastern Ukraine, the program asked what is the Russian Endgame here, do they want, as some believe, a land bridge to Crimea? “The end game for Russia is of course a peaceful Ukraine, and Russian national security.” “In case of the Crimea, it was an immediate reaction of the people of the Crimea for reunification with their mother country, with Russia. ” “Crimeans never had any Ukrainian identity whatsoever. The people in Donetsk and Luhansk have maybe a little bit stronger Ukrainian identity, but it would be very hard for Kiev to convince them that they should stay inside Ukraine.”