Reuters Stephanie Los
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said Saturday that Russia has amassed about 100,000 fighters on Ukraine’s borders.
“I hope that the world can now see clearly who really wants peace and who is massing about 100,000 soldiers on our borders,” Zelensky said, in a video clip released by the Ukrainian president’s office.
Zelensky noted that Western countries provided Ukraine with information on “active movements” of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border.
There is great political tension prevailing in Ukrainian-Russian relations since the 2014 events in Kiev, which resulted in the change of power in Ukraine in a process that relied heavily on Western-backed nationalist forces.
Since then, the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine has been witnessing a military and political crisis. These events have also 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.
And last week, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said that Russia had mobilized about 90,000 of its forces near the border with Ukraine in an attempt to put pressure on it.
But the Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations, Dmitry Polansky, stressed that Russia had never planned any military intervention on Ukrainian territory.
The diplomat also stressed that Russia has the right to mobilize any military forces anywhere within its territory.
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