Ukraine’s commander-in-chief says Russian troop levels on Ukraine’s border remain at 120,000

15 February 2022, 08:13 PM

Russia has about 120,000 servicemen close to the Russian-Ukrainian border, but there has been no sharp increase in this number recently, Ukrainian army chief Lieutenant General Valeriy Zaluzhny said on the Svoboda Slova (Freedom of Speech) panel show on Ukraine’s ICTV channel on Feb. 14.

Zaluzhny said that the Russian military were constantly redeploying and moving from the temporarily occupied Crimea to Belarus.

“I can’t say that there has been any kind of drastic increase at the moment…,” Zaluzhny said.

“We’re monitoring a certain amount of equipment, personnel, which is on the move. They stop, do some tasks, and then move to other places.”

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The commander-in-chief said that today a little over 120,000 military personnel, in 85-87 battalion tactical groups (BTGs), had been deployed near the Ukrainian border.

At the same time, another 20 BTGs are on the move and are being carefully monitored, he said.

Earlier Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, said Ukraine’s leadership sees no signs that Russia is preparing to launch a full-scale invasion in the coming days.

In contrast, on Feb. 11, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the U.S. government “continue to see very troubling signs of Russian escalation, including new forces arriving at the Ukrainian border.”

He warned that Russia could launch an invasion at any time, including during the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The U.S.-based Politico political media outlet also reported on Feb. 11 that U.S. President Joe Biden told Western leaders that Russia would start a military assault on Ukraine as soon as Feb. 16.

The U.S.-based Bloomberg news agency speculated that fresh Russian aggression against Ukraine could renew on Feb. 15.

Russia in turn accused the Western media of carrying out a “large-scale disinformation campaign.”

Later, the U.S. Department of Defense announced they could not confirm the media reports about the date of a possible invasion.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has again said that the Ukrainian government has “everything under control.” He also declared Feb. 16, 2022 to be Unity Day in Ukraine.

Russia has deployed about 140,000 troops and equipment on or near the border with Ukraine, including naval and air force servicemen.

Russia has officially denied its intention to carry out a large-scale invasion of Ukraine, while continuing to provide military assistance to its proxy groups in non-government controlled regions of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.

On Feb. 11, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry demanded that Russia explain its military activity in the border areas and in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory of Crimea, in accordance with Section III of the Vienna Document.

After Russia failed to respond to the demand, the Foreign Ministry called for a meeting with the signatories of the document.

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