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Russia intelligence agency dismisses Western states' claims of Ukraine invasion plan

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A Ukrainian army serviceman takes part in Sea Breeze drills in the Kherson region. (File photo by Getty Images)

Russia has dismissed allegations made by the West that Moscow is planning to wage a military aggression on Ukraine, as tensions continue to grow between the two sides over troop build-up on their shared border.   

Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) made the remarks in a statement on Monday, after Western countries said they are alarmed by Russian military activity near Ukraine, with the United States saying it has "real concerns" over what it called "unusual activity."

"The Americans are painting a frightening picture of hordes of Russian tanks that will start to crush Ukrainian cities, saying they have some 'reliable information' of such Russian intentions," the SVR said.

The US is sending its allies "absolutely false information on the concentration of forces on the territory of our country for the military invasion of Ukraine," it said, adding that American "bureaucrats are scaring the global community" with the allegations.

Earlier in the day, the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, had rejected the idea of a possible Russian attack on Ukraine, stressing that Russia itself was being targeted in a disinformation campaign.

“This is whipping up tension and is another attempt to present Russia as the one threatening the process of settling the situation [in eastern Ukraine],” said Peskov.

He also insisted that troop movements on Russia's own territory shouldn't concern anyone.

For the past two weeks, Kiev has time and again said that it feared Russia might be preparing an attack on Ukraine, claiming that there are nearly 100,000 Russian soldiers massed around its borders.

The US and NATO, for their parts, have also been echoing such allegations, referring to what they described as “unusual” Russian troop movements near common borders with Ukraine. They have also issued warnings over a possible attack by Russia.

Moscow has strongly rejected the possibility of an attack, saying Washington is involved in aggressive moves in the Black Sea, where Ukraine and the US held war-games earlier this month.

In its statement, the SVR further said it had information on "creeping advances" by Ukrainian troops, as well as Kiev organizing a "concentration of forces" in areas bordering Russia and Belarus.

Kiev has claimed that it is deploying thousands of border guards and security personnel to its frontier with Belarus due to the ongoing migrant crisis that has seen tensions soar between the European Union and Minsk.

 

Relations between Ukraine and Russia have been deteriorating since 2014, when the then Ukrainian territory of Crimea voted in a referendum to fall under Russian sovereignty. The US and the EU-backed Kiev refused to recognize the referendum results, and later imposed sanctions on Moscow.

Ukraine as well as the EU and the US claim Russia has a hand in an ongoing conflict that erupted in the Donbass region of Ukraine between government forces and ethnic Russians in 2014. The West imposed sanctions on Russia after accusing it of interfering in the conflict. Moscow denies the allegation.


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