The US Command in Europe has increased the level of combat readiness of its forces in connection with the escalation of tensions in eastern Ukraine. Writes about this publication Politico, citing their sources. Officially, the Pentagon does not comment on this information. However, on the eve of the official spokesman for the department, John Kirby, confirmed that the United States is closely monitoring the situation and receiving data on the build-up of the Russian military presence near the eastern border of Ukraine.
“Russia’s actions to destabilize the situation undermine the de-escalation agreements reached with the mediation of the OSCE. We are also aware of reports from the Ukrainian side on the movement of Russian military equipment near the Ukrainian border. We are discussing the situation with our NATO partners, ”Kirby said.
A serious aggravation of the situation in the East began on March 26, when, as a result of the violation of the ceasefire, four Ukrainian soldiers were killed and two were injured. On the eve of the buildup of the Russian military presence, said the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak. According to him, along the Ukrainian border, in the occupied territories of Donbass and in the annexed Crimea, Russia has deployed 28 battalion tactical groups. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia’s actions pose no threats
“The Russian Federation moves its armed forces within its territory at its own discretion. This should not bother anyone. It poses no threat to anyone. The Russian Federation is taking the necessary measures to ensure the security of its borders, ”Peskov said.
In March, Russian military exercises were held at the Opuk Crimean training ground. After their end, according to the Ukrainian command, the troops remained on the territory of the peninsula. Retired US Army Lieutenant General Ben Hodges considers such actions to be the Kremlin’s usual tactics aimed at destabilizing the situation.
“This is a continuation of the already familiar criminal activity to create scenarios for the development of threats. There is a lack of transparency in their actions and this always leads to an increase in concern more than necessary. The fact that since the beginning of the ceasefire, 22 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in Donbass by the Russian military does not make me confident about anything they say or do. The fact that there are Russian troops on the border of Ukraine, which were not withdrawn when it was announced, does not automatically mean that there will be an operation, but all this is aimed at creating uncertainty and destabilizing Ukraine. ” On the eve of the situation in eastern Ukraine, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba discussed. The head of the State Department reaffirmed his unshakable support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and also expressed condolences over the deaths of the Ukrainian military.