SOME 100,000 Russian troops have descended on the country’s border with Ukraine amid fears of an imminent invasion. Ukrainian President Vo
SOME 100,000 Russian troops have descended on the country’s border with Ukraine amid fears of an imminent invasion.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed Western countries have shared intel about Moscow military movement after the US warned of a potential attack.
A satellite image showing the presence of a large ground forces deployment on the northern edge of the town of Yelnya in Smolensk Oblast, Russia[/caption]
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has reportedly sent 100,000 troops to the Ukrainian border[/caption]
Zelensky said in a speech on his website: “I hope the whole world can now clearly see who really wants peace and who is concentrating nearly 100,000 soldiers at our border.”
But the Kremlin has hit back at such suggestions and grumbled about increasing activity in the region by the NATO transatlantic alliance.
The Ukrainian Defence Ministry previously put the number of Russian troops near the border at 90,000 on November 3.
It follows the release of shocking video which appeared to show Russian tanks, armoured vehicles and soldiers massing near the city of Voronezh – just 180 miles from the Ukrainian border.
The vehicles, which include a battalion of T-80U main battle tanks, are understood to have been brought down from the Moscow area.
Other clips show tanks being carried by train close to the city, while further footage shows a line of military troop-carrying trucks steaming down a highway in Bryansk around 100 miles from the border.
US secretary of state Antony Blinken described Washington as being “very concerned” about the potential “attempted rehash” of Russia’s 2014 invasion.
He said due to the country’s history of aggressive action and current uncertainty “we have real concerns about what we’re seeing in the present”.
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But Russia rubbished the reports and insisted it means no harm.
Spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed Western media reports that Moscow has intentions to invade Ukraine as a “hollow and unfounded attempt to incite tensions”.
He added: “Russia doesn’t threaten anyone. The movement of troops on our territory shouldn’t be a cause for anyone’s concern.”
Whitehall sources said the UK government was also anxious about the intel and there was “twitchiness” and “anxiety” among officials.
And Britain’s most senior military officer admitted he too is “worried” about the unfolding threat from Russia in Eastern Europe.
General Sir Nick Carter – the Chief of the Defence Staff – warned that the UK must be “on guard” over Vladimir Putin’s intentions with Ukraine and tensions with Belarus.
The Russian leader has come under fire for igniting a migrant crisis in the Poland-Belarus border to destabilise Europe.
His country deployed two nuclear bombers to patrol the skies over Belarus amid the bitter border dispute.
But Putin today insisted he was “ready to help” resolve the growing crisis “by all means if, of course, anything would depend on us”.
Russia is a key ally of Belarus, which the European Union says was responsible for flying in thousands of migrants, most of them from the Middle East, and pushing them to try to cross illegally into Poland.
Russia denies Moscow and Minsk were involved, and Putin blamed the West for the crisis referring to conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A 600-strong task force of British special forces – including SAS commandos and soldiers from the Parachute Regiment – are being prepared to deploy to Ukraine to help secure the situation.
Sir Nick told BBC’s Andrew Marr that Britain “stands behind Poland” under the circumstances – which remain tense as Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko demanded Russia send him nuke-capable missiles.
And it is suspected the shadowy hand of Russia is playing a key role, further fuelling fears that Putin may finally launch an attack.
There is unease that Russia may rely on blitzkrieg-style assault to storm its way across the country.
The tactic – made famous by Hitler’s armoured divisions invading Belgium and France in 1940 – would seek to hit a knockout blow before Ukraine and the West could react and redraw the “frontline”, similar to what happened in Crimea.
What is happening between Russia and Ukraine?
RUSSIA and the Ukraine have remained technically at war since 2014.
Ukraine was aligned with Russia as part of the Soviet Union until its collapse in 1991, following which it became an independent state.
Both nations remained closely tied – but Ukraine gradually began to distance itself, seeking deeper ties with the West.
The open conflict was triggered by the Ukrainian Revolution in 2014 – when an uprising overthrew the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych.
Vladimir Putin’s forces reacted by annexing the region of Crimea from Ukraine – a move which was widely condemned by the West.
The conflict then spiralled when pro-Russian groups in Eastern Ukraine then took up arms against the state.
Russia gave their backing the separatist forces which formed breakaway republics in Donetsk and Luhansk.
Putin’s forces then launched a military incursion into these regions as they gave their support to the rebels.
Russia continues to hold Crimea – and claims the region joined them willingly after they a referendum.
Seven years have now passed and the War in Donbass remains at a stalemate.
It is estimated some 14,000 have been killed in the conflict, including more than 3,0o0 civilians.
Ukraine and the rebels signed a new ceasefire in July 2020 – but clashes have been steadily increasing again throughout 2021.
A tank fires a shell during an exhibition performance in northern Ukraine[/caption]
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky[/caption]
Soldiers fast-rope from a helicopter during an exhibition performance held as part of the visit of the members of the Kyiv Association of Military Attaches and International Organisations[/caption]