Russian Military Buildup Near Ukraine Concerns DoD Officials
Russian Military Buildup
Near Ukraine Concerns DoD Officials
By Jim Garamone, DoD News,
Defense Media Activity.
Washington D.C. – (DoD
News) – July 16, 2014 – U.S. defense officials are concerned about a buildup
of Russian troops along that country’s border with Ukraine, Pentagon spokesman
Army Col. Steve Warren said today.
“We believe there are now between 10,000 and 12,000 Russian
troops on the border,” Warren told reporters. “We also have reason to believe
that the Russians are continuing to support the separatist movement in Ukraine.”
The size of the Russian presence in the region means it’s
capable of conducting operations on either side of the border, he added. “I
can’t speak for what they intend to do. Certainly, it is intimidating.”
A few weeks ago, about 1,000 Russian soldiers were along the
border. Earlier this year, tens of thousands of Russian troops were deployed in
the area, Warren said.
The United States wants the Russians to stop what it terms
provocative behavior and “execute actions that are in line with their words,”
Warren said. Russian officials have said they want peace and stability in
Ukraine and de-escalation of the situation there, but their actions work counter
to those goals, he noted.
U.S. officials believe that some weaponry -- “possibly some
heavy weapons” are flowing into Ukraine for use by separatists, Warren said. The
troops moving to the area are battalion task groups and are combat soldiers.
U.S. and Ukrainian military officials met in June. “Another
team is due to head out in the next few weeks to scope out specific defense
institution building activities and programs that we may want to pursue,” he
The United States has sent body armor, uniforms and
foodstuffs to Ukraine, and more aid is on the way. In addition, night-vision and
thermal-imaging equipment and medical supplies are expected to arrive in Ukraine
soon, Warren said.
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DoD Official Expresses Concern Over Russian Intentions