Russia holds live-fire exercise near Ukraine as thousands of troops gather at border

Russian troops gathering on the border with Ukraine have grown to 126,000 while Moscow claims it has no plans to invade its western neighbor

Russia is stepping up military measures on the Ukrainian border

The number of Russian troops gathering at Ukraine’s borders has grown to 126,000, despite Moscow claims it has no plans to invade.

According to estimates by the Ukrainian secret service, tens of thousands more reinforcements could be sent to the front within 14 days if war broke out.

Moscow’s military build-up on the border includes 105,000 infantrymen, including Spetsnaz special forces, and 21,000 marines, sailors and air raid personnel.

They are supported by tanks, artillery, armored personnel carriers and up to 30 attack and landing ships and boats prepared for an amphibious assault.

The troops gathered on the Russian border with Ukraine have grown to 126,000
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Russian Defense Ministry / east2west news)

And last year they participated in 2,500 military exercises near the Ukrainian border – many reflecting plans for an invasion or partial invasion of Ukraine.

They are supported by tens of thousands of pro-Russian separatists and special forces, as well as regular troops already in trenches along a 400-kilometer front line in Donbass.

240mm Tulpan self-propelled mortars are fired in North Ossetia during a Russian military exercise
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Image:

Russian Defense Ministry / east2west news)

A source told the Daily Mirror, “They are continuing to build up forces and the assessment is that there are worrying signs of preparation for an invasion.

“The Ukrainian military is prepared and prepared for an attack and can defend itself much better than in 2014 during the forced annexation of Crimea.”

Ukraine believes Russia could send thousands of troops to the front in one wave of attack
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Image:

Russian Defense Ministry / east2west news)

The latest official assessment by the Ukrainian military suggests that Moscow could send tens of thousands more soldiers to the front after an attack.

It reads: “Russia has also developed the ability to deploy more units in a short period of a week or two.

“In 2021, Russia carried out 2,500 military exercises near the border with Ukraine, strengthening the readiness of its armed forces to take part in new military operations on Ukrainian soil.”

Russia recently carried out 2,500 military exercises near the Ukrainian border
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Russian Defense Ministry / east2west news)

The Ukrainian document states about the naval assault force: “Russia maintains 30 landing ships and boats as part of its Black Sea fleet in order to increase attack and landing capabilities.”

Worryingly, the Kremlin said on Tuesday it saw no reason to be optimistic after talks with the US in Geneva on Monday about Ukraine and general European security.

On a conference call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was too early to draw conclusions from the substantial, direct and frank talks.

A motorized rifle unit fires a shot in the Chechen Republic
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Image:

Russian Defense Ministry / east2west news)

Russia has set up troops near the Ukrainian border and is demanding that the US-led NATO alliance rule out admitting the former Soviet state or further expansion to the east.

Washington has said it cannot accept these demands and Western leaders have warned of harsh sanctions if Russia attacks Ukraine.

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