Russia masses more forces near Ukraine border

A new build-up is underway with Russia deploying air defence units inside Ukraine and massing more troops on the border, says US State Department

Russia is carrying out a new military build-up in eastern Ukraine, massing troops on the border and deploying advanced air defences inside its neighbour, according to the US State Department.

More units are being deployed near Ukraine’s eastern frontier, giving Russia a stronger military presence along the border than at any time since last October.

“Combined Russian-separatist forces maintain a sizeable number of artillery pieces and multiple rocket launchers within areas prohibited under the Minsk accords,” said Ms Harf. “The Russian military has deployed additional air defence systems into eastern Ukraine and moved several of these nearer the frontlines.”

This is Russia’s strongest deployment of air defence missiles in Ukraine for eight months. The main purpose of these units is to provide a protective shield for troops and tanks, suggesting that Russia is preparing for a renewed incursion into its neighbour.

Russian forces have also been training alongside their rebel allies inside Ukraine. These “complex” exercises have included the use of drones, amounting to an “unmistakable sign of Russia’s presence,” added the State Department.

Full article: Russia masses more forces near Ukraine border (The Telegraph)

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