Poroshenko claims 9,000 Russian troops are fighting in Ukraine

The Ukrainian president demanded that Russia close the border and withdraw all its "foreign troops" from his country.

Michel Euler/AP
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko shows a piece of a bus that was attacked recently during the panel "The Future of Ukraine" in Davos, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015.

Ukraine's president courted European support Wednesday against what he says are 9,000 Russian troops occupying 7 percent of his nation's territory.

Addressing the World Economic Forum in Davos, President Petro Poroshenko held up a piece of a bullet-riddled bus as evidence of shelling last week by Russian heavy artillery in "occupied" parts of his country.

The Ukrainian leader called the scrap of yellow metal — a relic of Volnovakha, the town where 13 people were killed when a bus was shelled — evidence of Russia's hand in the conflict.

"I have here part of the Volnovakha bus, with the hit of the fragments of the Russian missiles which hit my people. And for me this is a symbol, a symbol of the terroristic attack against my country," he said, comparing it to the rockets that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over rebel-held eastern Ukraine. He called it a "global problem," extending far beyond just Ukraine's borders.

Poroshenko demanded that Russia close the border and withdraw all its "foreign troops" from Ukraine.

Ukraine's intelligence has confirmed from independent sources that there are more than 9,000 Russian troops on its territory, including more than 500 tanks, heavy artillery and personnel carriers, Poroshenko told the crowd of political and business elites.

"If this is not an aggression, what is an aggression?"

Russian, Ukrainian, French and German diplomats were converging on Berlin later for talks on a recent escalation of fighting between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatists, who both use similar Soviet-designed weapons. But the amount of sophisticated heavy weaponry in the insurgents' hands has been widely seen in the West as strong evidence of Russia's direct involvement.

Poroshenko's delegation brought to Davos a detailed description of territory west of the ceasefire line that they say the Russians and their rebel allies have seized since the ceasefire. It also described Russian involvement as being confirmed by Western spy satellites.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.