Ukraine fears that the Kremlin, widely regarded as the military and political godfather of pro-Russian separatists in the eastern region of Donbass (Ukrainian tank drills pictured there on April 18, 2021), is looking for a pretext to attack .
Moscow’s military build-up on the border with Ukraine is even bigger than in 2014 when Russia invaded Crimea, a Pentagon spokesman said Monday, describing the deployment as “very seriously concerning.”
While the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell cited a figure of 150,000 Russian soldiers on the Ukrainian border, before his own services scaled that figure back without explanation to 100,000, US Defense Department spokesman John Kirby declined to name a specific figure.
“It is the largest buildup we’ve seen certainly since 2014, which resulted in the violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Kirby told a news conference. “It is certainly bigger than the last one in 2014.”