Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has claimed that Russia is gathering nearly 100,000 troops near his country’s border, while concerns over an invasion continue to rise.
Zelenskyy said the action made clear to the world, “who really wants peace and who is concentrating nearly 100,000 soldiers at our border” during a video speech posted Wednesday on his website.
Russia has rejected any proposal for an attack as inflammatory and instead complains about increased activity from NATO in the region, Reuters reported.
US officials consulted European allies about the situation and warned that Russia could try to invade the country in the near future.
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On Thursday, Russia claimed that one of its fighter jets forced a British spy plane to change course after flying near Crimea, The Independent reported.
Satellite images released on November 8 showed an estimated 90,000 Russian troops gathered at the Ukrainian border, prompting House Republicans to request President Biden to deploy troops to the region. Retired Lieutenant General Ben Hodges told Fox News correspondent Jacqui Heinrich that Russia’s latest moves are a continuation of “what started back in April.”
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“They never really went back to their barracks, even the Minister of Defense [Sergey] Shoigu said they were, “Hodges claimed, describing the new movement as” the next phase. ”
He warned that Russia’s first step would not be a tank or a shot, but a cyber attack or “maybe turn off the gas or something” to create disruption.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken briefly discussed the situation at the Ukrainian border during a joint strategic dialogue last week, warning that Russia must avoid making “a serious mistake”.
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“We are very concerned about some of the irregular movements of forces that we are seeing at Ukraine’s borders,” Blinken said on Friday. “I can not speak with Russia’s intentions. We do not know what they are, but we know that we have seen Russian mass forces at Ukraine’s borders in the past.”
Blinken warned that Russia could claim “some form of provocation” and then invade, following a plan that led them to establish control of Crimea in 2014. The United States remains in “close consultation” with its European allies, while continuing with monitoring the situation.
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“I can just say that based on the past, we have real concerns about what we see in the present,” Blinken explained. “And it would be a serious mistake for Russia to engage in a repetition of what it did in 2014.”