Washington is concerned about Russia’s unusual military activity near the Ukrainian border. Moscow’s repetition of 2014 would be a serious mistake, Blinken warned.
For the first time in two weeks Ukraine has recognized the accumulation of Russian troops on its border. In his video message, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that we are talking about more than 100 thousand soldiers. Until now, despite reports from the West, the Ukrainian authorities have denied the buildup of Russian forces on the border.
The United States, in turn, warned Russia against another “serious mistake” with regard to Ukraine, demanding clarification about the movement of troops near the Ukrainian border. Moscow, on the other hand, calls the movement of military equipment across its territory “an internal affair.” Correspondent.net tells the details.
Russia’s activity is “unusual in its size and scope”
Moving Russian troops along the Ukrainian borders and increasing their concentration is psychological pressure on Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on his social media accounts the night before.
According to him, Western partners have recently informed Ukraine about the active movement of Russian troops and an increase in their concentration along the Ukrainian borders.
“I hope that now the whole world sees who really wants peace, and who is concentrating almost 100 thousand troops on our border. Our army is ready to fight back anyone, anytime, anywhere,” Zelensky said, noting that the special services and intelligence ” have complete information. “
At the same time, the Ukrainian president criticized those who “raised a fuss” in social networks and media.
“Dear, the shelling, accumulation and movement of troops has been taking place at the front for the eighth year in a row. The psychological pressure of Russia has not worked on us for a long time. Your panic will definitely not help, but it can help the enemy, it can become part of an information war and bring the country no less harm than military ones. actions, “he said.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who met with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmitry Kuleba in Washington on November 20, demanded clarification about the movement of troops near the Ukrainian border.
“We have no clarity about Moscow’s intentions, but we know what scenario it plays. Whatever provocations we see, they come from Russia,” he said at a press conference with Kuleba. Earlier, CNN sources reported that the head of the CIA, William Burns, visited Moscow last week, including in order to find out the reasons for the movement of troops.
The United States monitors possible manifestations of Russian aggression both in the field of energy and in connection with the observed military activity near the western borders of Russia, and is ready to respond to them, the US Secretary of State said.
“We are worried that Russia could make a grave mistake by trying to repeat what it did in 2014, when it concentrated forces along the border, invaded the sovereign territory of Ukraine, while falsely claiming that it was provoked,” Blinken said.
“In case Russia tries to use energy as a weapon or undertake further acts of aggression against Ukraine, both we and Germany are committed to providing an appropriate response,” Blinken was quoted as saying by Reuters.
He also noted the commitment of the United States to “the sovereignty of Ukraine, its independence and its territorial integrity.” The White House will work with the US Congress to ensure continued military assistance to Ukraine, including lethal weapons, said Blinken.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said at the same time that Russia’s military activity near the border with Ukraine was “unusual in its size and scope.”
“We urge Russia to make clear its intentions and adhere to the Minsk agreements,” Kirby said.
He stressed that the United States military will continue to conduct operations in the Black Sea whenever necessary.
“We will continue to fly, use ships and conduct operations in international airspace and international waters when necessary. And we will continue to do so. And even right now there are several American warships in the Black Sea,” said a Pentagon spokesman.
According to him, what the Ukrainian delegation learned in the United States corresponds to its own research and analysis of Ukraine, adds a number of new elements and allows to form a more complete picture of what is happening.
Information about the activity of the Russian army near the border with Ukraine on October 30 appeared in the Washington Post. The publication said that recently, videos showing the movement of Russian military equipment have been posted on social networks.
The next day, the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, citing diplomatic sources, reported that the United States had approached Britain, France and Germany on this issue. “Cause [обращения] – the concentration of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine and the associated high potential for escalation, “the newspaper wrote.
On November 1, the authoritative publication Politico published satellite images of the area near the village of Yelnya in the Smolensk region, possibly confirming information about the concentration of Russian army units in the area. The Smolensk region borders on Belarus and is not adjacent to Ukraine, but is located only 250 kilometers from Ukraine.
Bloomberg on November 8, citing the British company Jane’s, which specializes in military and transport topics, wrote that at least a battalion of Russian T-80U tanks, which were loaded onto railway platforms in the Voronezh region, could be transferred to the border with Ukraine.
Experts from the British company suggest that military equipment, presumably, will be sent to the Pogonovo training ground in the Khokholsky district of the Voronezh region.
Jane’s noted that, unlike the situation in the spring of 2021, when the movement of Russian forces also caused concern in the West, this time the equipment is being deployed secretly, at night.
Recall that in April 2021, as part of large-scale military exercises, Russia transferred about 120 thousand soldiers and officers to the annexed Crimea and to the border with Donbass, summoning in Ukraine and the West fears that Moscow is preparing for war with Ukraine.
The Russian Defense Ministry then explained the transfer of troops as a reaction to NATO’s “threatening actions” and the need to check the combat readiness of the Russian army.
The press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov, commenting on the new transfer of troops, said that the movement of Russian military equipment through the territory of Russia is an exclusively internal affair of the Russian Federation.
And according to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the reports of the American media about the movement of Russian troops to the border with Ukraine do not correspond to reality.
Amid reports of a possible escalation in Donbass The United States sent two missile destroyers to the Black Sea USS Porter and USS Mount Whitney. The Pentagon said that they were sent to carry out operations with NATO allies, but they did not specify which ones.
On November 11, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that it had recorded an increase in the military activity of the United States and its NATO allies in the Black Sea region. First of all, the intensity of actions of the naval forces, air and naval reconnaissance assets, as well as strategic aviation has increased, the ministry said in a statement.
Over the past day, four NATO reconnaissance aircraft were discovered and accompanied by radar systems of the anti-aircraft missile forces of the Russian Aerospace Forces, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
In the afternoon, a British Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft approached the Crimea. To control his actions, the Su-30 fighter of the Russian Aerospace Forces was raised from the duty forces, the Russian military department noted.
On the eve of the Russian anti-aircraft missile forces tracked the movements of three NATO reconnaissance aircraft over the Black Sea, the report said.
The Russian Defense Ministry called the unscheduled exercises of the United States and its allies in the Black Sea “aggressive actions that pose a threat to regional security.”
Note, on November 8, the Washington Times wrote that the American army is returning to its units stationed in Europe, a unit from the times of the Cold War with the USSR. We are talking about the 56th artillery command, based in Germany.
The reason for this is the intensification of the alleged threat from Russia.
“We really did not have enough of this,” the publication quotes the words of the commander of American troops in Europe and Africa, General Christopher Cavioli.