Moscow comments on reports Russia is ready to invade Ukraine
The Kremlin has denied that Russian troops are building up on the border with neighboring Ukraine as part of a precursor to a full-blown invasion that could quickly drag the whole continent into a bloody and devastating war.
Speaking on Monday, President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, insisted the movement of Russian soldiers and military equipment within the country’s borders posed no threat to any other nation. According to him, a series of recent reports in a number of Western media outlets that a conflict could be on the cards were part of a “targeted information campaign.”
“Bloomberg is being used as a trumpet, and some American newspapers are involved,” he went on. “It’s about building tensions – it’s an attempt to portray Russia as threatening the peace process.”
Worse still, Peskov claimed, the reports could be “camouflage” intended to cover up Kiev’s own “hostile intentions.”
Speaking earlier that day, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said claims of an impending armed incursion were part of a “mythology” being created around Russia. “If there are facts, show them and we’ll talk. If not, then it’s time to work on the mistakes at the heart of the non-existent stories creeping into the Western press with regard to Ukraine.”
Bloomberg and a number of other outlets in recent days have carried warnings about the threat of a looming conflict between the two Eastern European nations, after Ukraine’s domestic intelligence agency published a theoretical plan of how Russian land forces could invade the country. Since then, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has warned Moscow there would be severe consequences to any such action.
Earlier this month, US outlet Politico was derided by the Kremlin after claiming Russia was “massing troops and military equipment on the border with Ukraine.” A series of satellite photos published alongside the report claimed to show Russian hardware near the city of Yelnya, which is around 250 kilometers (155 miles) from the frontier with Ukraine, and closer to neighboring Belarus.
“The movement of some of our military equipment or army units across the territory of the Russian Federation is exclusively our business,” Peskov said. “Russia has never threatened anyone, does not threaten and does not pose a danger to anyone.”
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