Kremlin Responds To Anger Over Ukraine Border Build-Up: ‘Our Internal Troop Movements Not Your Concern’
Various reports strongly suggest that over the past week there’s been a significant uptick in shelling and fighting in the war-torn Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine. This has served to thrust the over 5-year long crisis back in the media spotlight in the past days, particularly after the US Army ( via US European Command, or EUCOM) raised its Europe threat level to its highest of “potential imminent crisis”.
At the same time The New York Times and others are detailing the escalation while alleging ‘Russian aggression’ is fueling the fresh flare-up, which has signaled the collapse of yet another cease-fire. And more alarmingly the reports allege a major build-up of Russian troops and tanks along Ukraine’s eastern border. But even as the NY Times report mused, it’s also likely that the estimated 4,000 regular Russian soldiers there were simply left over from recent scheduled military exercises common during this time of year.
The Kremlin has responded to the slew of reports on Thursday, underscoring that given the troops remain entirely within Russia’s national boundaries, it’s essentially ‘nobody’s business’ where they go.
“The Russian Federation transfers the Armed Forces on its soil as it wants to. This should not concern anyone and this is not posing any threat to anyone,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov emphasized.
Moscow is taking “all the necessary measures to ensure security of its frontiers,” he stressed according to TASS. Peskov added that:
“As for the participation of Russian troops in the armed conflict on Ukraine’s soil, the Russian troops have never taken part in it and are not participating now.”
He further said: “And we, the European countries and all world states would not like the civil war in Ukraine as a result of provocations and provocative steps by Ukraine’s military to flare up again.”
Deeply saddened by the deaths of four Ukrainian soldiers today due to shelling near Shumy, Donetsk. Russia must observe ceasefire measures, end daily violence that is causing senseless suffering, engage constructively in peace negotiations, and end its aggression in Ukraine.
— U.S. Embassy Kyiv (@USEmbassyKyiv) March 26, 2021
Moscow’s reaction further comes after Ukraine’s commander-in-chief of national armed forces alleged that Russia intentionally amassed more troops on the border, and further that “pro-Moscow separatists were systematically violating a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine,” according to Reuters.
Meanwhile the NYT report had noted that within the past days “Four Ukrainian soldiers were killed and another seriously wounded in a battle against Russian-backed separatists in the Donetsk Region” – strongly suggesting that a severe flare-up could be on the horizon.
— The Intel Crab (@IntelCrab) March 31, 2021
But again, Russia is downplaying all of this. “The movement of Russian troops across the country should not concern other states since this does not pose any threat to them,” the Kremlin reiterated according to state sources.
Thu, 04/01/2021 – 12:00