Russia Says Ukraine Massing Troops Near Separatist East

Moscow said Wednesday that Ukraine has massed tens of thousands of troops in the country’s east, where Kiev is fighting pro-Russian separatists, as worries grow over an escalation in the long-simmering conflict.

Kiev’s Western allies last month began raising the alarm over a fresh Russian troop build-up around Ukraine’s borders and warned of a possible winter invasion.

The Kremlin has denied the claims and blamed the escalation in tensions on the West supplying Ukraine with modern weaponry, conducting drills in the Black Sea and flying bombers near Russia’s borders.

“The Armed Forces of Ukraine are building up their military strength, massing heavy equipment and personnel,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters. 

“According to some reports, the number of Ukrainian troops in the conflict zone has already reached 125,000 personnel,” she claimed, saying that this represented half of Kiev’s troops.

The comments followed the Ukrainian foreign ministry saying Tuesday that Russia has massed 115,000 troops around Ukraine, on the Crimean peninsula — which Moscow annexed in 2014 — and in two eastern regions occupied by the breakaway fighters.

Kiev and its Western allies have long accused Russia of sending troops and arms to support the separatists — claims Moscow denies — who seized the territory shortly after Russia annexed Crimea.

The conflict, which has claimed more than 13,000 lives, escalated at the beginning of the year and saw Russia deploy around 100,000 troops around Ukraine’s borders in the spring.

While Moscow later announced a drawback, Ukraine and its ally the United States said at the time that the withdrawal was limited.

Washington has routinely in recent weeks warned that Russia could cite a trumped-up provocation by Ukraine as an excuse to launch an assault, an allegation the Kremlin has denounced as hysteria.

(c) The Moscow Times

6 comments

  1. ““According to some reports, the number of Ukrainian troops in the conflict zone has already reached 125,000 personnel,” she claimed, saying that this represented half of Kiev’s troops.”

    To quote Putler. “What Russia does with their military inside Russia, has nothing to do with the West”.

    Liked by 3 people

    • The MT seems to have gone from a relatively independent outlet to a full on kremkrapper site.
      Of course putler wants Zel to do a Saakashvili. In 2008, putler’s filth were continuously shelling Georgian villages from inside South Ossetia, murdering many civilians. Eventually Saakash reacted as as the putinazis wanted and sent his lads to retake the Georgian town of Tskhinvali.
      The putinazis immediately launched a full scale land, air and sea invasion of Georgia. In that attack, the Georgian city of Gori was sacked by putinazi stormtroopers. Hundreds of civilians were murdered.
      This is what putler dreams of doing again. It cannot be allowed to happen.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Putler is beyond crazy, he’ll bomb Donbas himself as an excuse to invade Ukraine. Wouldn’t be the first time he’s murdered Russian speakers, or Russians as an excuse to invade another country.

        Liked by 3 people

    • If Vladolf had the popular support in Ukraine he wouldn’t need his troops. Instead, he sends in the T-90’s and tells his propagandists to repeat his lie that Moskovia never interferes in other country’s affairs. I guess they just need the tanks to get through the roads they’ve destroyed….

      Liked by 2 people

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