Ukraine says Russia will soon have more than 120,000 troops on the border


Kiev / Brussels — Russia will soon have more than 120,000 troops on the Ukrainian border, and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called for new Western sanctions to prevent Moscow from “further escalation” on Tuesday. ..

Washington and NATO have warned of a large concentration of Russian troops near Ukraine and on the Crimean Peninsula, a peninsula that Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

Western officials say military concentration is now greater than during the annexation. The figures given by Kreva were higher than Ukraine’s previous estimate of 80,000 Russian troops, of which 50,000 were new deployments.

“Russian troops continue to arrive very close to the northeast, east and south borders. In about a week, they are expected to reach a total of more than 120,000 troops,” Kreva said in an online press conference. Said in.

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Ukrainian military personnel will drive an armored vehicle during training at a shooting range in the Donetsk region of Ukraine on April 20, 2021. (Serhiy Takhmazov / Reuters)

“This does not mean that they will stop building their troops in that number,” Kreva said, saying Ukraine did not want a conflict with Russia, but what he said was Warned that Moscow was unpredictable.

“The cost of preventing further escalation of Russia is always lower than the cost of stopping Russia and mitigating its consequences …. New stages of aggression on Russia, international isolation and painful sanctions. It is much more effective to make Moscow clearly understand that it has dire consequences. “

Kreva also called for Moscow to re-commit to a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. There, Russian-backed troops fought Ukrainian troops in a dispute that Kiev had killed 14,000 people since 2014.

Kiev and Moscow have accused the increase in casualties in the conflict in recent weeks. Kreva said Russian snipers had killed Ukrainian soldiers and caused a counterattack in Ukraine.

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Ukrainian military personnel will participate in training at a shooting range in the Donetsk region of Ukraine on April 20, 2021. (Serhiy Takhmazov / Reuters)

Russia said its military buildup was a three-week snap military training to test combat readiness in response to what was called threatening action from NATO. Moscow accused the United States and NATO of “provocative activity” in the Black Sea waters and airspace on Tuesday.

“I called on my colleagues to start considering new sector sanctions against Russia,” Kreva said in a video conference with the EU Foreign Minister.

He said EU ministers did not feel ready for such a move, but told them that individual sanctions against Russian authorities were inadequate.

Matthias Williams and Robin Emot

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