March 26, 2016 / 12:58 PM / 4 years ago

Kremlin: No Russian troops in Ukraine's Donbass, but there are Russian 'citizens' - RIA

Participants attend a rally supporting the pro-Russian people living in Ukraine's eastern regions, and the self-proclaimed People's Republics of Donbass and Luhansk, in Moscow, June 11, 2014. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - There are no Russian troops in the Moscow-leaning Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, and there have never been, but there are Russian citizens who stand by local residents, RIA news agency quoted the Kremlin as saying on Saturday.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was referring to repeated accusations to Moscow by Kiev and the West of its direct military involvement in the conflict between Ukrainian security forces and pro-Russian separatists in the region.

Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Alison Williams

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