Russian tanks and snipers are being sent to the Ukraine border in order to “provoke return fire,” according to an accusation by Ukrainian authorities. The fear of a possible invasion comes amid reports that Moscow has buildup troops near its borders with Ukraine.
Just hours before the long-awaited video call between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukraine released a statement from their Defense Ministry warning that there may be military action in the coming days.
Russia is allegedly training “special troops” to undermine Ukraine’s military strength. The ministry has accused Moscow of using regular servicemen and reinforcement units near the contact line with additional 122mm self-propelled artillery vehicles, tanks or IFVs,” as well increasing sniper teams in this area.
The Russian government has yet to respond publicly to the allegations, but Dmitry Peskov denied them on Tuesday and redirected any questions about them towards Russia’s Defense Ministry.
Russian-Ukrainian tensions have been going on since 2014 when Moscow annexed the Crimean Peninsula. This conflict resulted in more than 14,000 deaths as both sides fought for control over eastern-Ukrainian territory
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The conflict in Ukraine has been a long-standing issue between Russia and the West, with both countries making allegations against each other. Despite this being an international issue that affects everyone involved, some are more vocal than others on either side: “Russia accused Ukraine of sending its troops to back separatists while Kiev said Moscow was aiding these rebels.”
Ukraine is on high alert as tensions flare with Russia for a possible invasion.
A recent report from Ukraine’s Security Service says Moscow has deployed between 15,000 to 20,000 troops near the border and Western officials fear that this could be an indication of what may happen next month during military exercises taking place just Northeast in Belarus – the home territory of Vladimir Putin’s.
U.S. intelligence officials say that Russia has massed about 70,000 troops near its border with Ukraine and they could be planning an invasion as soon as early next year.
Moscow has denied plans to attack Ukraine and in turn, blamed Kyiv for its own military buildup. Moscow alleges that by the time of such an event it may be too late because separatists have already been reinforced with supplies from Russia making them stronger than before.
At the same time, President Putin has urged Western leaders to offer guarantees that would prevent NATO from expanding into Ukraine and stationing its weaponry on Russian soil.