U.S. Says Russia Sends Tanks, Rocket Launchers Into Ukraine

Ukrainian servicemen from the "Azov" battalion escort men detained at a site of battle with pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol June 13, 2014. Osman Karimov/Pool/Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Russia has sent tanks, heavy weapons and rocket launchers to Ukraine in recent days in support of separatists in the east of the country, the U.S. State Department said on Friday.

"We assess that separatists in eastern Ukraine have acquired heavy weapons and military equipment from Russia, including Russian tanks and multiple rocket launchers," spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement.

Harf told a briefing earlier that a convoy of three T-64 tanks, several MB-21 "or Grad" multiple rocket launchers and other military vehicles had crossed from Russia into Ukraine in the last three days.