Speaking during a meeting with a group of US senators, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky alleged that Moscow withdrew only a fraction of the forces concentrated near Ukraine in April, a buildup that affected Ukraine as well as the West. worried too.
The Russian buildup came amid regular ceasefire violations in clashes between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, and fueled fears that full-scale hostilities would resume.
After the completion of the exercise in late April, the Russian army announced the withdrawal of its troops.
But it ordered troops to leave their weapons behind in southwest Russia near Ukraine for another major military exercise scheduled for September.
Zelensky claimed on Wednesday that Russia had so far withdrawn only a fraction of the more than 100,000 troops that Ukrainian officials said had been deployed near the border earlier in the spring.
“They’ve only pulled back about 10,000 troops,” Zelensky told three US senators in Kiev.
“The withdrawal of Russian forces is just a declaration.”
Meaning. Jean Shaheen of New Hampshire, a senior Democratic member of Senate Foreign Relations Committee, republican Rob Portman Democrats of Ohio and Connecticut Chris Murphy Emphasizing strong bipartisan support for Ukraine.
“This bipartisan visit sends a clear message that the United States is committed to rebuilding our transatlantic ties and re-establishing American global leadership to promote democratic values,” he said in a statement.
“We talked about the importance of expanding our relationship, providing even more effective military support, so Ukraine can defend itself,” Portman told reporters after the talks.
Russia annexed the Black Sea’s Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in March 2014 after ousting Ukraine’s Moscow-friendly president and then threw its weight behind separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.
The seven-year fighting has killed more than 14,000 people and devastated Ukraine’s eastern industrial region, known as the Donbass.
A 2015 peace deal brokered by France and Germany largely helped end fighting, but clashes continue along the line of contact and a political settlement has stalled. Ukraine and the West have accused Russia of besieging the rebels with troops and weapons – allegations Moscow has denied.
Kremlin In the past, it issued a stern warning to Ukrainian authorities against attempts to gain control of the rebel by force, saying it could be prompted to intervene to protect civilians there.
Moscow also won natoJoint exercises with Ukraine, saying they reflect the coalition’s aggressive intentions and promote hardline circles in Ukraine.
Major-General. igor konashenkovA spokesman for Russia’s defense ministry said on Wednesday that the Russian military would closely monitor NATO’s sea air exercises, scheduled to be held jointly with Ukraine in June and July.
Konashenkov alleged that the maneuver would serve as a cover for providing arms and munitions to Ukraine.
He warned in a statement that the Russian military would comply with the exercise and “respond in line with the evolving situation to ensure the military security of the Russian Federation.”
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