Russia has said the United States has presented 'fake' satellite images that showed Eastern Ukraine being shelled with rockets from Russian territory, and that the false evidence was created by US counsellors "with close links to Ukraine's Security Council."
Saying that the authenticity of the images was impossible to prove, Russia's Defense Ministry has insisted the images released by the US government were "fake."
"These materials were posted to Twitter not by accident, as their authenticity is impossible to prove – due to the absence of the attribution to the exact area, and an extremely low resolution. Let alone using them as 'photographic evidence'," Ministry representative Igor Konashenkov said, referring to the images posted by the US ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt on his Twitter account, Russian Times reports.
According to the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the civilian-taken satellite images released on Sunday show visual evidence that Russia had been firing shells across the border towards Ukrainian military forces.
The images also showed that separatists have used heavy artillery provided by Russia to attack Ukrainian forces.
The Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson was quoted as saying that pictures of such kind "have also been provided by Kiev representatives as an excuse for the usage of heavy artillery and other weaponry by the Ukrainian army – against the country's civilian population."
"It's no secret to anyone that fakes like this are made by a group of US counsellors staying in the Kiev building of the Security Council, led by General Randy Kee," the New York Times quoted Konashenkov.
This comes after Russian officials denied last Friday allegations that they were supporting the separatists groups, calling it a US-led "smear campaign," according to NYT.
The photographic "proof" came at the wake of the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, triggering media speculations that the rocket that shot down the jet could have also emanated from Russian territory.
The Ukrainian military said on Saturday that it was poised to reclaim the territory of Donetsk, the city at the heart of the civil war – where pro-Russian insurgency have a stronghold.