US monitoring reports of ‘unusual’ Russian troop activity near Ukraine: Pentagon

WION Web Team
NEW DELHIUpdated: Jan 27, 2022, 08:34 PM IST

Ukraine flag (representational image) Photograph:(AFP)

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The Pentagon is monitoring the Ukraine region closely amid reports of a new buildup of Russian troops on the country's border, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Monday.

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby has said that the US is aware of allegations of "unusual" Russian military activities near the Ukrainian border and will continue to speak with partners and closely monitor the region. 

"We are aware of public reports of unusual Russian military activity near Ukraine and we're going to continue to consult with allies and partners on this issue. I can't speak for Russian intentions, but we are certainly monitoring the region closely as we always do, " Kirby said during a press briefing.

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The Washington Post reports that US officials are concerned about unexplained Russian military activity in the region.

Military Trains and truck convoys move tanks and missiles in Russia's southwest near Ukraine, according to videos uploaded on social media.

On the condition of anonymity, a US source confirmed that there had been some movement, albeit it was not as significant as the rise in Moscow's forces earlier this year. 

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The increase follows US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's trip to the Black Sea region, which included stops in NATO partner Ukraine and Georgia, as well as alliance full member Romania, to express solidarity and rally support for fighting Russia in the region.

Since 2014, rebels allied with Russia have fought Ukrainian government forces in eastern Ukraine.

In 2014, Russian soldiers annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula, prompting harsh Western sanctions on the country. 

Russia massed thousands of troops, heavy military equipment, naval boats, and aircraft on the Ukraine-Crimea border and in Crimea in March, only weeks after President Joe Biden's inauguration, stoking concerns of an invasion.

The manoeuvres were described by Moscow as a drill, but many of the military equipment stayed for weeks, prompting observers to interpret them as a message to Biden. 

(With inputs from agencies)