Russia sending snipers and tanks to try to provoke Ukraine in Donbass, Kyiv says

KYIV (Reuters) - Ukraine on Tuesday accused Russia of deploying tanks and additional sniper teams to the frontline of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, ready to inflict casualties on Ukrainian soldiers and try to provoke return fire.

Ukraine's defence ministry issued the statement hours before U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin will speak in a high-stakes video conference after Russia massed troops near Ukraine's border.

The statement said "the enemy increased the number of sniper pairs in readiness to inflict casualties on the personnel of the Joint Forces, destroy video surveillance elements and provoke return fire".

(Reporting by Natalia Zinets and Matthias Williams; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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