(Reuters) – The burnt-out remains of dozens of tanks and armored vehicles in fields near this small village (HORBATENKO Ukraine) bear witness to the ferocity of a battle that turned the tide of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Most of the tanks were used by the government forces routed in August near Horbatenko, 40 km (25 miles) southeast of the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, a defeat so demoralizing that days later Kiev agreed a ceasefire with pro-Russian separatists.
But among the debris Reuters found the blackened carcasses of what military experts have since identified as two Russian army tanks, supporting statements by Kiev and the West that the rebels were backed by troops and equipment sent by Moscow.
Moscow denies the accusations though the rebels had been on the brink of defeat until late August, when the Ukrainian government says they received an injection of soldiers and weapons from Russia.
Reuters showed photographs of the two badly damaged tanks, one of which had lost its turret, to four independent military experts, who said they were of a type used exclusively by the Russian army. Read More and see photos: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/23/us-ukraine-crisis-tanks-exclusive-id