Ukraine demands ‘swift’ action to ‘deter’ Russia from invading and warns Moscow could launch a military operation ‘in the blink of an eye’
- Ukraine Foreign Minister said at media briefing: ‘It’s better to act now’
- Fears Russia could invade Ukraine after reported military activity in area
- President Volodymyr Zelensky held November 26 conference about situation
- Country has said it is ‘ready’ to take on Russia if troops move across border
The alarm was raised earlier this month by Western countries over reported Russian military activity near Ukraine.
And the United States said it has ‘real concerns’ about the new troop build-up on the border.
At a media briefing Ukranian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba today said: ‘It’s better to act now, not later.
‘What we are seeing is very serious. Russia has deployed a large military force in regions close to Ukraine’s state border.’
‘If Russia decides to undertake a military operation, things will happen in literally the blink of an eye.’
Mr Kuleba’s words come days after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky held a press conference in Kiev about the situation with Russia.
At a media briefing Ukranian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba (right) today said: ‘It’s better to act now, not later.’ Mr Kuleba’s words come days after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (left) held a press conference in Kiev about the situation with Russia
President Zelensky said at the November 26 conference that Ukraine was ready to take on Russia if Moscow decides to move troops across the border.
According to Mr Kuleba, Moscow has amassed 115,000 troops around Ukraine, on the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014- and in two Eastern regions occupied by pro-Russian separatists.
He said that tanks, artillery, electronic warfare systems and air and naval forces have also been deployed.
But he added that Ukraine, whose army has become ‘incomparably stronger’ than when breakaway fighters in 2014 seized the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in a simmering conflict that has claimed more than 13,000 lives, would ‘fight back’.
Kiev and its Western allies have accused Russia of sending troops and arms to support the separatists, claims Moscow denies. Pictured: Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the Kremlin today
Kiev and its Western allies have accused Russia of sending troops and arms to support the separatists, claims Moscow denies.
Following an uptick in violence at the start of the year, Russia sent around 100,000 troops to Ukraine’s borders in the spring, raising fears of a major escalation.
Russia announced a withdrawal later but Ukraine and the United States said at the time that it was limited.
The United States, Ukraine, NATO and the European Union have raised the alarm about new Russian troop movements in recent weeks and warned about a possible invasion.
The claims have been dismissed by Moscow, who have accused Kiev of ‘provocations’ and blamed Washington for escalating tensions in the region.
Pictured: A serviceman of the Ukrainian Armed Forces takes part in military drills at a training ground near the border with Russian-annexed Crimea in Kherson region, Ukraine (file image)