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Source: Putin's 'Gunman' Demanding More Russian Support in Ukraine

Further, the ministry insists that Strelkov's troops got all the weapons they needed from Russia, but Strelkov maintains his army had to buy the mortars, rocket launchers, and other weapons "for fabulously huge money"

I don't understand how the clause maintains his army fits in with Strelkov and had to buy. Wouldn't it be better to say Strelkov to maintain his army had to buy...? Clarify the grammar for me, please.

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Try inserting a that in between maintains and his army, and you might find that it's much easier to understand. – Damkerng T. Jul 26 '14 at 12:03
I'm not an English major, but I interpret this as Strelkov has said before, and continues to say that he had to buy the mortars, rocket launchers, and other weapons. – Tom Jul 26 '14 at 16:01
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Maintain is used here in the sense defined in Collins, 4:

verb (transitive)
4. (takes a clause as object) to state or assert ⇒ he maintained that Talbot was wrong

Maintains parallels insists in the first clause: The ministry says that, but Strelkov says this.

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