Home WORLD EUROPA Ukraine: US accuses Russia of deploying thousands more troops

Ukraine: US accuses Russia of deploying thousands more troops

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Yesterday [mardi]the Russians announced that they were withdrawing troops from the border with Ukraine […]. We now know it’s wrongsaid a senior White House official who requested anonymity Wednesday evening from journalists.

In fact, we have now confirmed that in recent days Russia has increased its presence along the Ukrainian border by up to 7,000 troops, some of whom arrived today [mercredi]he continued.

According to this official, if Russia has said that it wants to find a diplomatic solution, his actions indicate otherwise.

Joining the United States and theNorth Atlantic Treaty OrganizationUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he had seen no signs of a decrease in the concentration of Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders, saying he had simply noticed small rotations.

Vehicles on which tanks are mounted circulate on a bridge.

Russia has shared several images of tanks leaving military exercise areas near the border with Ukraine, including this one in the annexed Crimean peninsula.

Photo: via Reuters / Provided by the Russian Ministry of Defense

On Wednesday, he attended major military exercises in the west of the country and then traveled east to Mariupol, near the frontline with pro-Russian separatists backed by Moscow.

We are not afraid of any prognosis, we are not afraid of anyone […]because we will defend ourselves launched Mr. Zelensky, dressed in a military outfit on the occasion of the unity day which he had decreed.

Westerners have been worried for weeks about the risks of an attack on Ukraine by Russia, which has massed more than 100,000 troops on the borders of this country, an explosive situation at the heart of the worst crisis with Moscow since the end of the Cold War.

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Diplomatic negotiations and threats

While increasing diplomatic negotiations, Americans and Europeans have warned that massive economic sanctions were ready in the event of Moscow taking action, which denies any desire to invade.

During a telephone conversation on Wednesday evening, US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz agreed that Russia must take real de-escalation measures and expect extremely serious consequences if it attacks Ukraine, according to a statement from Berlin.

On the sidelines of the Security Conference in Munich on Saturday, US Vice President Kamala Harris will meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and hold talks with numerous European officials, a senior White House official announced on Wednesday.

The President walks by a helicopter with members of the military.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky attends military exercises in Rivne, in the northwest of the country, on February 16, 2022.

Photo: afp via getty images / Aris Messinis

For their part, the Heads of State and Government of the European Union will hold discussions on Thursday on the evolution of tensions around Ukraine, before the kick-off of a summit between theEuropean Union and the African Union in Brussels, a spokesperson for the European Council announced on Wednesday.

The Russian army announced on Wednesday the end of exercises and the departure of soldiers from the annexed peninsula of Crimea, publishing a video claiming to show wagons loaded with military equipment leaving the night zone.

Belarus also promised on Wednesday that all Russian soldiers deployed on its territory as part of maneuvers would leave the country at the scheduled end of these exercises, on February 20. But, before the latest American declarations, theNorth Atlantic Treaty Organization already said not to see the announced de-escalation.

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On the contrary, it appears that Russia continues to strengthen its military presencesaid its secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, earlier.

He said that theNorth Atlantic Treaty Organization would further strengthen its military presence on its eastern flank in the face of Russian threats, which had now become the new normal in Europe.

Russia still concentrates so many strengths around Ukraine, also said the head of French diplomacy Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Moscow deplores the rejection by the West of its main demands, such as the end of the policy of enlargement of the Alliance, in particular to Ukraine, and the withdrawal of the military infrastructure from theNorth Atlantic Treaty Organization from Eastern Europe.

For their part, the West has proposed talks on other subjects, such as arms control.

unity day

An aerial view of people gathered in a public square.

Ukrainians take part in the President’s Unity Day on February 16, 2022.

Photo: Associated Press/Emilio Morenatti

Alongside claims of partial troop withdrawal, Moscow opened a new front with a parliamentary vote on Tuesday calling on Russian President Vladimir Putin to recognize the independence of separatist territories in Ukraine.

It would be a gross violation of international law, warned Antony Blinken on Wednesday. In the streets of Kiev, many flags were visible on the occasion of the unity day decreed by Mr. Zelensky, which minimizes the risk of an invasion.

Symbolically, several wealthy Ukrainians announced their return to the country after a call from the Head of State. Ukraine’s richest man, oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, also visited Mariupol, announcing more than $1 billion in investments there for 2022.

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