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Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, head of US European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander, said the “armed masked men” operating in eastern Ukraine are actually part of a “well planned and organized” military operation directed by the Russian government. Citing NATO analysis, Breedlove listed several observations that have led him and other NATO leaders to this conclusion. For one, the “pro-Russian ‘activists’ in eastern Ukraine exhibit tell-tale military training and equipment and work together in a way that is consistent with troops who are part of a long-standing unit,” wrote Breedlove in an April 17 blog post. Second, “the weapon handling discipline and professional behavior of these forces is consistent with a trained military force,” he added. Video footage shows forces that “are attentive,” and “focused” on the task at hand, while “under control of an apparent leader.” Also, the “coordinated” way in which government buildings are being targeted is “indicative of a professional military force, acting under direction and leadership, not a spontaneous militia,” he wrote. Finally, the Russian army issue weapons they carry are “not the kind of equipment that civilians” likely could “get their hands on in large numbers.”