Pentagon says Russia keeps troops along Ukraine border, destabilizing situation

Russia continues to have “postured, ready and capable battalion tactical groups” along the border with Ukraine, particularly in the southeast between Ukraine and western Russia, Rear Admiral John Kirby, Pentagon spokesman, said on Thursday.

“These units have remained ready,” Kirby said during a briefing. “They have remained close, in some cases very close to the border with Ukraine. They continue to, just by their very presence and readiness, to do nothing but continue to destabilize and increase tensions there.”

“We also, as we have seen for months now, continue to see Moscow reinforce, resupply and provide arms and equipment to the separatists inside Eastern Ukraine,” he said. The Russian actions are “manifestly unhelpful, doing nothing to decrease the tensions there, and frankly, continue to violate the territorial integrity of Ukraine,” Kirby said.

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