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Ukraine says Russian troop build up not enough for major attack

Russian accused of amassing troops in preparation for a possible invasion and seeking to destabilise the ex-Soviet country.



Members of Ukraine's military units  train in a city park in Kyiv, Ukraine. – AP
Members of Ukraine's military units train in a city park in Kyiv, Ukraine. – AP

By AFP

Published: Wed 26 Jan 2022, 4:17 PM

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Wednesday that the number of Russian troops deployed along his country’s border was not enough for a major attack.

Kyiv and the West have accused Russia of massing tens of thousands of troops on the Ukrainian border in preparation for a possible invasion and of seeking to destabilise the ex-Soviet country.

“The number of Russian troops amassed along the border of Ukraine and occupied territories of Ukraine is large,” Kuleba said, referring to Moscow-annexed Crimea and separatist-controlled parts of eastern Ukraine.

He told reporters that “it poses a threat to Ukraine” but is “insufficient for a full-scale offensive”.

Kuleba added that Russia is still capable of building up its deployments to “a sufficient level” over time.

His comments come in contrast to those of Kyiv’s Western allies, including the United States, who have warned that Russia may attack at any moment.

However, Kuleba said that Ukraine is “on the same page” with Washington and other partners in assessing the security risks and the situation.

The minister accused Moscow of working towards the “destabilisation of Ukraine” by “spreading panic” and “conducting cyberattacks.”

Kyiv this month accused Russia of carrying out a sweeping cyberattack on government websites while Britain said it had evidence of a Russian plot to install pro-Kremlin leadership in Ukraine.

Kuleba added that the US has “coordinated” with Ukraine its answers to Russia’s proposals on security demands and they are acceptable for Kyiv.

“It is important that the diplomatic track of contacts with Russia continues to work. While diplomats are talking, guns are silent,” Kuleba said.


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