Russia Says Troop Buildup Near Ukraine Is A Response To NATO

In this handout photo released by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu speaks as he visits a naval base in in Gadzhiyevo, Russia, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Shoigu on Tuesday described a massive military buildup in western Russia as part of drills intended to check the armed forces' readiness amid the threats posed by NATO. (Vadim Savitsky/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)

(AP) — Russia’s defense minister says the country’s massive military buildup in the west is part of readiness drills amid what he described as threats from NATO.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the maneuvers in western Russia that have worried neighboring Ukraine and brought warnings from NATO would last for another two weeks. Shoigu said the Russian military has deployed two armies and three airborne formations to western regions over the last three weeks “as a response to the alliance’s military activities threatening Russia.”

The U.S. and its allies have voiced concern about the concentration of Russian troops. Russia-baсked separatists and Ukrainian forces have been locked in a conflict in eastern Ukraine since 2014.


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