Russia has 'several thousand' combat troops in Ukraine: NATO officer

NEWPORT Wales (Reuters) - Russia has several thousand combat troops and hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles inside Ukraine, a NATO military officer said on Thursday. NATO had previously said that "well over 1,000" Russian troops were operating inside Ukraine, marking a significant escalation of Moscow's military involvement in the country. "We are still seeing several thousand Russian combat troops on the ground inside Ukraine, equipped with hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles, so (there is) no substantial change in the disposition of Russian forces inside Ukraine," the NATO officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Wales. Around 20,000 Russian troops remain close to the Ukrainian border, he said. (Reporting by Adrian Croft,; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

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