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Obama admin: Russia firing artillery at Ukraine military targets

Obama administration officials said Thursday that Russia is firing artillery from its own territory into Ukraine to hit Ukrainian military sites, pointing to escalating Russian involvement in the deadly conflict.

"This clearly is a military escalation," Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said, adding there is no question that Russian military -- as opposed to Russia-backed separatists -- are firing the shots.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf first made the accusation during a press briefing earlier Thursday. She also claimed Moscow is boosting its military shipments to pro-Russian separatists.

"We have new evidence that the Russians intend to deliver heavier and more powerful multiple rocket launchers to separatist forces in Ukraine and have evidence that Russia is firing artillery from within Russian to attack Ukrainian military positions," Harf told reporters.

She said the evidence derived from "human intelligence information" but declined to elaborate, saying it would compromise sources and methods of intelligence collection.

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