The German government says that Russia supports separatist armed groups in the east of Ukraine, deputy spokeswoman for the German government Christiane Wirtz told a briefing on Monday, Ukrinform reported.

"There are many indications that in the east of Ukraine active armed groups of people receive support from Russia," Wirtz said.

According to her, "if we look at the behavior, clothing and weapons of these groups, we can conclude that in this case it is hardly about self-defence forces, spontaneously formed civilians."

In turn, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in an interview to the Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung published on Monday that "among the demonstrators in the east of Ukraine, who participated in the takeover of public buildings, there are pro-Russia provocateurs."