Russia is reportedly sending more troops near its border with Ukraine, as relations between both countries continue to deteriorate.
Speaking during a military conference, captured in a Facebook video and posted on the military’s official account on July 23, Ukrainian Chief of General Staff Viktor Muzhenko said his forces had observed new moves on the Russian side of the border.
“The organisational and staff structure, the arms and the military equipment that is approaching for reinforcement, indicates that these Russian divisions are striking forces in their essence and are intended for carrying out rapid offensive actions,” he said.
Since Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, it has backed separatist militants in Ukraine’s border regions. However, Moscow has not officially declared war on Kiev and continues to deny official involvement in the fighting on the ground.
Asked to confirm or deny any deployments closing in on the Ukrainian border, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did neither.
“The Russian Federation is free to change the configuration of armed forces on its territory in accordance with what it views as most purposeful,” he told state news agency Itar-Tass on July 24. “When it comes to specifics, in any given case it is better to address this question to our colleagues at the ministry of defence.”