Russia still has around 1,000 troops in eastern Ukraine: Nato

Soldiers walk at a checkpoint controlled by Ukrainian forces on Sept 10, 2014, near the small eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyanoserbsk, in the Lugansk region. Russia still has around 1,000 troops in eastern Ukraine, a Nato military officer said
Soldiers walk at a checkpoint controlled by Ukrainian forces on Sept 10, 2014, near the small eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyanoserbsk, in the Lugansk region. Russia still has around 1,000 troops in eastern Ukraine, a Nato military officer said on Thursday, casting doubt on reports of a reduction in Russian forces there. -- PHOTO: AFP

BRUSSELS (REUTERS) - Russia still has around 1,000 troops in eastern Ukraine, a Nato military officer said on Thursday, casting doubt on reports of a reduction in Russian forces there.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Wednesday he had information that 70 per cent of Russian troops who had been in Ukraine had been moved back across the border.

"The reported reduction of Russian troops from eastern Ukraine would be a good first step, but we have no information on this. The fact of the matter is there are still approximately 1,000 Russian troops in eastern Ukraine with substantial amounts of military equipment and approximately 20,000 troops on the Russian border with Ukraine," the Nato military officer said.

However, Nato had said last week that it estimated several thousand Russian combat troops were in Ukraine.