Ukraine invasion fears as satellite images show alarming Russia army border buildup

Russia: Information wars ‘first stage of invasion’ says civil activist

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The large-scale buildup of troops has raised concerns that Vladimir Putin may invade its neighbour as soon as early next year. The images, from Maxar Technologies, appear to show a number of Russian tactical battle groups, including both personnel and equipment, such as tanks, artillery, and armoured troop carriers.

These personnel and equipment were deployed to the Pogonovo training area and Yelnya in Russia and Novoozernoye in Crimea in November.

This comes after Mr Putin denied wanting war with Ukraine, saying that the ​​onus is on Western powers to safeguard the region’s stability.

Mr Putin, addressing his annual press conference, said that the West should provide “unconditional security” guarantees amid escalating tensions over the Russian military buildup on the Ukrainian border.

Mr Putin repeated his denial of Russia’s intentions to invade Ukraine as early as the beginning of next year, adding that the US had missiles at “Russia’s doorstep”.

Mr Putin said: “This is not our choice, we do not want this.

“We have to think about ensuring our security prospects not just for today and next week but for the near future.”

“We just directly posed the question that there should be no further NATO movement to the east, the ball is in their court, they should answer us with something.

“In this regard, I would like to stress that on the whole, we have seen a positive reaction so far, our American partners tell us that they are ready to start this discussion.”

Despite denying war claims, he refused to rule out an invasion of Ukraine saying that Russia would do whatever it needed to protect itself.

He said: “Our actions will depend not on the negotiation process but on the unconditional security of Russia.

“We’ve witnessed five waves of NATO expansion. Why can’t they understand? What is unclear? We are thinking about our own security.”

Mr Putin also defended the troop buildup at the Ukraine border, describing it as a direct response to US aggression, and citing the placement of US missile systems in Ukraine.

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He said: “The US is deploying its missiles close to our home, on the porch of our house.

“What would the Americans think if we came to the border between Canada or the US, or Mexico, and deploy our own missiles over there?”

Karen Donfried, the US State Department’s top diplomat for Europe, told reporters that the US was willing to negotiate with Russia in various forms.
She said, however, that until a consensus was agreed, the US would continue to send military supplies and assistance to Ukraine.

She stated: “As President (Joe) Biden has told President Putin, should Russia further invade Ukraine, we will provide additional defensive materials to the Ukrainians above and beyond that which we are already in the process of providing.”

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