Statement by Marie Harf, Acting Spokesperson

Combined Russian-separatist forces continue to violate the terms of the “Minsk 2” agreement signed in mid-February.

Combined Russian-separatist forces maintain a sizable number of artillery pieces and multiple rocket launchers within areas prohibited under the Minsk accords.

The Russian military has deployed additional air defense systems into eastern Ukraine and moved several of these nearer the front lines.  This is the highest amount of Russian air defense equipment in eastern Ukraine since August.

Russian and separatist forces also have a large concentration of command and control equipment in eastern Ukraine.

Combined Russian-separatist forces have been conducting increasingly complex training in eastern Ukraine.  The increasingly complex nature of this training leaves no doubt that Russia is involved in the training.  The training has also incorporated Russian UAVs, an unmistakable sign of Russia’s presence.

Russia is also building up its forces along its border with Ukraine.  After maintaining a relatively steady presence along the border, Russia is sending additional units there.  These forces will give Russia its largest presence on the border since October 2014.  Russia has also redeployed military elements near Belgorod, opposite Kharkiv.

Russia has continued to ship heavy weapons into eastern Ukraine since the “Minsk 2” ceasefire took effect on 15 February.