Russia rubbishes Ukraine invasion claims after build-up of troops near border

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Russia have rejected claims by the US that it is about to invade Ukraine after a build up of troops on the border.

Tensions are high between the two Eastern European nations, due to a disagreement over the disputed territory of Crimea.

American satellite images appear to show a build-up of tanks, armoured units and self-propelled artillery, and ground troops, near the Russian town of Yelnya.

Both video and photo evidence on social media corroborate the claims, but Ukrainian officials have said that they have no evidence themselves to back it up. Russia also denied it.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that Washington was “monitoring the situation”, but Ukraine's defence ministry said on Monday that “no additional deployment of Russian forces had been observed near the border”.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the reports, calling the claims a “waste time” and of “low-quality”, in various local media outlets.

He added: “The movement of our military equipment and army units is exclusively our business.

“Russia has never threatened anyone."

The mysterious satellite images also appeared to show a build-up of Russian units, including the elite 1st Guards Tank Army, troop tents, an administrative area, and armoured units and support equipment.

The Pentagon's Mr Kirby continued: "We're going to continue to consult with allies and partners on this issue.

“As we've said before, any escalatory or aggressive actions would be of great concern to the United States.

“We continue to support de-escalation in the region and a diplomatic resolution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.”

Earlier this week, Russia's foreign minister accused Ukrainian leaders of trying to “drag Moscow into the conflict in eastern Ukraine”, following an escalation in fighting between government forces and rebels in the breakaway region of Donbass – a war which has been raging since 2014.

According to Reuters News, Minister Sergei Lavrov told Russia's state television: “We observe attempts to carry out provocations, elicit some reaction from the militia and drag Russia into some kind of combat action.”

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  • Military
  • Russia

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