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Russia has deployed additional air defense systems into eastern Ukraine and is involved in training exercises of Russian-separatist forces in the area in breach of ceasefire accords, the State Department said on Wednesday.
“This is the highest amount of Russian air defense equipment in eastern Ukraine since August,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement.
She said Russia was also building up its forces along the border, currently the largest presence since October 2014.
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U.S. Military Trainers in Ukraine May ‘destabilize’ Situation: Kremlin
The Kremlin said on Friday the arrival of about 300 U.S. paratroopers in Ukraine to train Kiev’s National Guard could destabilize the situation in the east of the country, where pro-Russian separatists are fighting Ukrainian government forces. Ukraine has repeatedly asked for international help to boost its defensive capabilities. Western countries have so far declined its requests to supply weapons, while offering non-lethal military aid and training. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Moscow during a conference call, “The participation of instructors or specialists from third countries on Ukrainian territory, where the domestic Ukrainian conflict is unresolved … could destabilize the situation.” He was referring to the arrival of the U.S. paratroopers in western Ukraine this week to begin a six-month training rotation with three battalions.
Arrival Of 300 U.S. Paratroopers in Ukraine Prompts Russia To Act!