Pentagon: Bigger Russian artillery moving into Ukraine

The movement of Russian heavy caliber artillery systems across the border into Ukraine is “imminent”, the Pentagon said Friday, saying Russia is escalating the military action there. U.S. officials warned this week that they had new evidence that Russia intended to deliver heavier and more powerful multiple rocket launchers to the separatist forces in Ukraine.

This is unquestionably an escalation from a military perspective.

Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman

Pentagon officials declined to say what impact the attacks have had on Ukraine’s military, but added the U.S. has seen no indications of Ukraine firing back into Russia and there have been no reports of civilian casualties. Close to 12,000 Russian troops are believed to be near the border now. At the White House, press secretary Josh Earnest said the escalation had prompted the U.S. to discuss additional costs that might be imposed on Russia, referring to potential economic sanctions. Overnight, the Ukrainian army has claimed that its soldiers came under artillery fire from the Russian side of the border overnight and were attacked by rebels in several other places in the country’s restive east.