Out of those 43 thousand, at least 9 thousand Russian soldiers are included. Officially this data was released by the deputy ATO (which is an abbreviation for the Counter-Terrorist Operation) commander, col. Valentin Fedychev, in his interview for the Ukrainian 5 Kanal TV station, which took place on Monday, 11th May.
Fedychev also claimed that, starting from summer 2014, 4 tactical Tochka-U missile launchers have been deployed to Ukraine (NATO codename – Scarab B). He stressed that so far there is no evidence that these missiles have been used.
According to Fedychev, the Russian-Separatist forces have 700 tanks at their disposal in the Donbass area, additionally crews of around 190 of these tanks are purely Russian. All of that is complemented by an unspecified number of artillery units and Grad multiple rocket launchers, along with ca. 1000 armoured carriers.
The deputy commander also stressed the fact that the Donbass area which is currently occupied by the separatists did not feature any equipment or ordnance storages. Thus Fedychev added that the “declarations made by the military and political leadership in Russia, according to which the equipment has not been brought from Russia, but it has been partially acquired from the Ukrainian arsenals, are a lie.”