The United States and UK have reported that Russia has increased its military presence near Ukraine’s borders, despite Kremlin statements about troop withdrawals.
The head of Britain’s defense intelligence, Lieutenant General Jim Hockenhall, said that Russia continues to increase its forces on the border with Ukraine, which contradicts Moscow’s statements about the withdrawal of troops.
Citing a US official, The Associated Press reported that the West detected that Russia had increased its force near Ukraine by 7,000 troops, with some arriving as recently as Wednesday, and that there had been a marked increase in false claims by Russians that the Kremlin might use as pretext for an invasion.
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The official was not authorized to speak publicly about sensitive operations and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
NATO also accused Russia on Wednesday of increasing the number of troops it has amassed at the Ukrainian border, a day after Moscow claimed it had begun withdrawing some of its military units.
Western leaders have warned that they are yet to see evidence of such a move, after a spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defense announced on Tuesday that some units, having completed military drills near the border, were already on the move.