The Kremlin warns the West not to concentrate NATO forces on civil war in Ukraine. The situation in the Donbass war of arms has intensified in a couple of weeks and the Russian Western Army has been found to be moving significantly in its territory.
Russia has vowed it will take “extra measures to ensure its own security” should it observe any deployment of NATO troops inside Ukraine, the Kremlin statement said Friday.
Moscow warns of possible strict NATO troops movements after the Brussels expressed concern the reports and the videos that allegedly show Russian major cross Ukraine’s eastern border.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday that the situation at the contact line in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian government forces and Donbass militia forces was quite frightening and that multiple “provocations” were taking place there.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Thursday spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart, Andrii Taran, and “condemned recent escalations of Russian aggressive and provocative actions in eastern Ukraine,” the Pentagon said.
“Our rhetoric [over Donbass] is absolutely constructive,” Peskov said in response to journalists’ questions. “We do not indulge in wishful thinking. Regrettably, the realities along the engagement line are rather frightening. Provocations by the Ukrainian armed forces do take place. They are not casual. There have been many of them.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky , for his part, condemned the movements of Russian troops “across the border” by calling the situation “muscle flexion”, which he said is likely to lead to “provocations” to which the Ukrainian military is “ready”.
A week ago, fighting in Donetsk rose to international headlines when four Ukrainian soldiers were killed and Kiev quickly blamed Russian-backed “separatists” for the situation. The Donetsk People’s Republic stated that the losses in Ukraine were not the result of a direct exchange of fire, but the losses occurred on the minefield.
Russia has pointed out that it is in no way in its interest to see a new “hot conflict” escalating from the war of arms in Donbass. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said most of the Ukrainian army seems to understand the danger of a “hot conflict” in the Donbass.
“I very much hope that politicians will not incite them, which in turn will be incited by the West under U.S. leadership,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov also issued a warning:
“Russian President Putin said (this) a long time ago, but this statement is still relevant that those who are trying to start a new war in the Donbass will destroy Ukraine.”
The situation has escalated at a time when Russian troops have been found moving towards the Crimea and the border with Ukraine, but Moscow has ignored the concerns expressed and found them to be involved in spring exercises and that it is routine to move troops within its own sovereign territory.
Transfers of Ukrainian troops have also been reported: