Tuesday, 26 October, 2021


Russian Federation says it will keep forces near Ukraine, touts possible 'measures'

Ukraine's President Zelensky visits troops in the Donbas region or Ukraine US expresses concern as Russia 'sends ballistic missiles' to Ukraine border
Patty Aguilar | 09 April, 2021, 04:58

In Thursday's call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin "drew attention to the provocative actions of Kyiv, which has deliberately sought to exacerbate tensions along the line of control", the Kremlin said in its readout of the call.

A senior Kremlin official said on Thursday Russia could under certain circumstance be forced to defend its citizens in eastern Ukraine and that major military hostilities could mark the beginning of the end of Ukraine as a country, TASS news agency reported.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy flew to eastern Donbass in a show of support on Thursday two days after he called on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to lay out a path for Ukraine to join the military bloc, whose expansion Moscow fiercely opposes.

At a news conference, Kozak was asked if Russian Federation would protect its citizens in eastern Ukraine.

"Over the truce since July 27 last year, 28 soldiers have been killed in the shelling in Donbas, 24 of them this year. According to intelligence reports, Russian Federation is building up its military presence near the Ukrainian borders and is completing the preparation of a set of measures aimed at forcing Ukraine into a military response", UIA reported.

THE Communist Party of Ukraine (KPU) has accused the United States of stoking tensions on the country's border with Russian Federation.

The ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine began in April 2014. Russia, which annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, has denied sending troops and heavy weapons to Donbass.

In the same call, Mr Putin accused Ukraine of inflaming the situation in the east. Moscow has repeatedly denied those claims.

But clashes, mainly involving artillery and mortar fire, have picked up again since the start of the year, with both sides blaming each other.

Independent Russian military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer says he can not rule out the possibility that Russia is preparing an escalation in the Donbass region.

Together with France and Germany, Ukraine and Russian Federation are part of the Normandy format of countries that have sought to resolve the conflict since 2015 but have failed to end the fighting.

He said that this, "together with the forces already deployed near the border of Ukraine, poses a threat to the military security of the state". He has in recent days appealed to his country's Western allies for support.

"We will respond appropriately to such aggressive steps, which pose a direct threat to Russian Federation", said President Vladimir Putin, during a high-level meeting with the country's senior diplomats in mid-2018.

For the Biden administration, there could also be some hesitation for personal reasons.

Zelensky, a television comedian and political outsider, came to power in 2019 on pledges to end the war.

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