Sputnik Alexei Mashev
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said today, Wednesday, that Russia has massed about 90,000 of its forces near the border with Ukraine in an attempt to pressure it.
“According to information from the General Intelligence Department of the Ministry of Defense, a group of military forces with a total number of 90,000 people has been mobilized near our borders and in the territories temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation (referring to the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine),” she said in a statement.
It added that units of the Russian army were stationed in Yelnia, about 260 km north of the Ukrainian border.
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry accused Russia of “periodically deploying and increasing forces to maintain tensions in the region and to exert political pressure on neighboring countries.”
The statement of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry is a departure from its denial of any Russian military build-up, as stated in a report by the newspaper “Politico”.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that what was published by an American newspaper, which claimed that Russia had deployed army units and military vehicles on the Ukrainian border, was “nonsense that is not worth commenting on and wasting time.”
Russia denies Ukrainian allegations about the deployment of Russian forces in the Donbass region, where Russian-speaking locals have been fighting the Ukrainian army since the 2014 crisis in Ukraine triggered by the growing power of ultra-nationalists in the country.
The Russian government also confirmed that it is carrying out military movements of its forces inside the country as part of planned exercises that are not directed against any party.
There is a great political tension prevailing in Ukrainian-Russian relations since the 2014 events in Kiev resulting from the change of power in Ukraine, which relied heavily on Western-backed nationalist forces.
Since then, the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine has been witnessing a military-political crisis, and these events have resulted in great tension in the Crimean peninsula, which is inhabited by the Russian majority. In March 2014, a popular referendum was held that voted in favor of returning the region to the bosom of Russia.
“Reader. Infuriatingly humble travel enthusiast. Extreme food scholar. Writer. Communicator.”