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Russian troops on move to invade Ukraine

Russia, Crimea, Russian, Ukraine, Antony Blinken

Oped

Russian troops on move to invade Ukraine

Back in 2014, Russia annexed Crimea and Russian sympathizers took control of multiple regions of Ukraine. The conflict came to a head later that year when thousands of solders and civilians were killed during armed hostilities. In 2015, both sides agreed to a ceasefire though, Kremlin was already having a wider blueprint to implement. Now, almost after six years, Moscow is mobilizing its tens of thousands of soldiers towards Russia-Ukraine borders and according to sources, Ukraine will be invaded soon.

According to information, Russia has sent 16 additional battalion tactical groups, or 14,000 soldiers to the border, Ukrainian intelligence sources told BBC News. Ukrainian military officials estimated there are currently over 40,0000 total Russian troops in the area. And the number is on rise.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, meanwhile, expressed concern and noted that the buildup was the largest of its kind in seven years, prior to his meeting with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) chief Jens Stoltenberg on April 13 morning.

Blinken said: “[We’ll] discuss the concerns shared across the alliance and among allies about Russia’s actions in and near Ukraine, particularly the significant massing of forces, the largest since 2014, and we’ll talk about the future of our alliance”.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price later confirmed that the two had discussed the “immediate need” for Russia to cease amassing troops near Ukraine.

But Russia warned stating the US should stay away from the conflict with Ukraine for its “own good”. Russia also defended its recent actions, saying the military buildup was a training exercise and that it was free to send its soldiers wherever and whenever they want.

Russian Deputy Foreign Ministry Sergei Ryabkov added the recent US deployment of naval ships in the Black Sea near Ukraine was a provocation.

“There is absolutely nothing for American ships to be doing near our shores,” Ryabkov said, according to CBS News.

Russia’s hostilities with Ukraine date back to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, according to BBC News. Since then, Russia has intervened in the affairs of certain parts of the bordering nation, namely in Chechnya and Crimea.

However, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Tuesday that Russia will not have the advantage of surprise like it did seven years ago, BBC News reported.

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Sohail Choudhury is the Executive Editor of Blitz

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