Transcript for Tensions increase along Ukrainian frontlines amid Russia conflict
- Go to Ukraine right now, Senior Foreign Correspondent, Ian Pannell, is on the scene. Ian?
- Yeah, good morning, George. That's right. Although many were hoping this meeting would ease the crisis and officials have agreed to carry on talking, I think the reality here on the ground is that the tensions remain undiminished.
This morning, exclusive pictures of American-supplied weapons on the front lines in Ukraine's conflict with Russian-backed rebels. This is what Vladimir Putin means by a red line. What he sees as America's, NATO's, expansion in Ukraine and why this crisis is so hard to resolve. We visited the battlefields of Eastern Ukraine.
You hear that sound? That's the sound of small arms fire. And we're hearing it every few minutes now. The soldiers are trying to keep us moving forward. But we're here on the front line. It's really active every few minutes, another gunshot there.
The war's been grinding on for eight years after Russia annexed Crimea and backed a rebellion in the East. Today, Ukraine's forces facing off against Russian-backed separatists. And the scars of battle are everywhere. Now, US intelligence officials believe President Putin may be planning to go even further.
There are thought to be as many as 100,000 Russian troops on the border east of here, which is raising tensions on the front lines, where Russian-backed rebels and Ukrainians eye each other daily--
And this is what you look through, here.
--less than 100 yards apart.
We've just been told that we've got to move back through the trenches. They heard the sound of gunfire coming from the rebel positions. They said they're going to open fire more. And the area has become too dangerous to stay here.
This is where the crisis between Ukraine and Russia, in many senses, between Russia and America, is playing out.
Are you worried that Russian forces that have tens and tens of thousands of soldiers and tanks are now on the Russian border--
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- --with Ukraine? You're ready?
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- So that call has done little to change the uncertainty. The dial, if you like, hasn't really shifted in either direction. And I think after so many broken promises, broken cease fires, I think the people here on the ground have low expectations that things will change. And as long as those tens of thousands of Russian troops remain camped out on the border with Ukraine, it's unlikely that the guns will fall silent. George?
- That seems right. OK. Ian, thanks very much.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.