Breaking News: Kiev used ballistic missiles in E Ukraine NATO confirms to DW

In the past two days Kiev’s forces have launched several short-range ballistic missiles into areas in east Ukraine controlled by self-defense forces, CNN reports, citing US government sources.

The move “marks a major escalation” in the Ukrainian crisis, CNN said.

“Three US officials confirmed to me a short time ago that US intelligence over the last 48 hours has monitored the firing of several short-range ballistic missiles from territory controlled by Ukraine government forces into areas controlled by the pro-Russian separatists,” Barbara Starr, CNN’s Pentagon correspondent, said in a live report.

Short-range ballistic missiles can carry warheads of up to 1,000 pounds (450 kg) and are capable of killing dozens of people at a time, Starr said.

A Moscow correspondent for another American television network, ABC, tweeted Tuesday that the Kiev forces fired three ballistic missiles at self-defense forces near the town of Snezhnoe (Snizhne in Ukrainian) in the Donetsk Region. According to Kirit Radia, this is what a US official told ABC’s Pentagon digital journalist Luis Martinez.

Kirit Radia ✔ @KiritRadia
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In last 48 hours Ukraine’s military fired 3 SS21 short range ballistic missiles at separatists near Snizhne, US official tells @LMartinezABC
1:53 PM – 29 Jul 2014

Radia added that according to the official, it is likely that Ukrainian forces use such missiles since they do not want to risk their planes being shot down by sending them to the area.

More: US official says Ukrainian mil likely using those weapons bc they dont want to risk sending planes to be shot down, per @LMartinezABC

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