The Kremlin said Thursday that a southern Russian court's acknowledgment of the presence of Russian soldiers in the eastern part of Ukraine known as the Donbas was a "mistake," despite much evidence to the contrary presented to the court.
The court's words are poignant given the lengths Moscow has gone to obfuscate whether its forces are stationed in Ukraine. The court, located in Rostov-on-Don near the border with Ukraine, is where the former Russian-backed president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, fled following his ouster in 2014.
Ukraine's Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko said, "Russia has by itself created a legal precedent that clearly fixates its status as a party to an international armed conflict."
He added: "It is not possible to hide Russia's crimes in Ukraine."
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