Russia commences war games on Ukraine’s border amid fears of fresh invasion
Concentrated in great numbers around the Russia-Ukraine border, Russian armed forces are engaging in large-scale, live fire military exercises, the Russian Ministry of Defense told news agency Interfax on Jan. 11.
Around 3,000 troops from Voronezh, Belgorod, Bryansk, and Smolensk regions are participating in the exercises.
Some 300 military vehicles are also involved, including T-72B3 main battle tanks and BMP-2 armored personnel carriers.
The Russian defense ministry reports that Russian armed forces will perform a variety of maneuvers, looking to practice “inter-unit cohesion under battle conditions,” and “master new tactical solutions to challenges presented by modern combined arms battlefield conditions.”
These war games are taking place in the midst of a series of talks between Russia, the United States, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, covering the Russian demands of “security guarantees.”
During a press briefing on Jan. 11, U.S. State Department Spokesperson Ned Price commented that “large-scale live fire military exercises are the opposite of de-escalation we expect to see.”
On Dec. 17, Russia issued demands for what it called “security guarantees” to the United States and NATO, including that Ukraine and Georgia be forbidden from ever becoming a member of the alliance – all against the backdrop of a continuous build-up of Moscow’s troops along Russia’s border with Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin has declined to provide any kind of guarantees against a renewed invasion of Ukraine.
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