Top US General Calls Russia, Ukraine Amid Reported Moscow Troop Buildup

Ukraine bans Russian wheat, sunoil

Kiev has been locked in a conflict with Russian-backed separatists since 2014, and this week Ukrainian officials reported Russian troop movement in annexed Crimea and on the border, near territories controlled by Moscow-backed separatists.

Earlier in the week, national security adviser Jake Sullivan "affirmed the United States' unwavering support" for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity in a phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, Kirby said. Kirby noted that President Joe Biden's national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, spoke on Monday to his Ukrainian counterpart to express USA support.

U.S. troops in Europe were on an elevated "watch condition" as Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley spoke to General Valery Gerasimov, the Russian Armed Forces chief of staff, and Ukraine armed forces Commander in Chief Ruslan Khomchak.

Canada, which has 200 troops based in Ukraine, is concerned about a Russian buildup of forces near the war-torn east of the country and is watching the crisis closely, a senior source directly familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that any attempts to start a new military conflict over the Donbass region could "destroy" Ukraine, the Russian TASS news agency reported. EUCOM declined to comment on the threat level change, but said it is monitoring events in Ukraine carefully.

Those reports could not be confirmed, but some observers have tied them to Russian military exercises. 'In this way, [Russia] seeks to create an atmosphere of threat and, at the same time, of pressure during the ceasefire negotiations and for peace as our value'.

The US agreed with Ukraine's assessment that two incidents involving mortar and machine gun fire that led to the death of four Ukrainian soldiers last Friday represented a violation of a ceasefire agreement.

Ukraine bans Russian wheat, sunoil
US expresses concerns over Russia-Ukraine military tensions

On Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not confirm the troop buildup on the border, saying Moscow was at liberty to move troops across its territory.

In addition, Khomchak said that since the beginning of 2021, about 19,000 tonnes of fuel, some 335 tonnes of ammunition, 35 vehicles, three tanks, multiple launch rocket systems and special equipment have been moved to the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

He added that "it should not worry anyone and does not pose a threat to anyone".

President Joe Biden has taken a tougher approach to Russian than former President Donald Trump, labeling Russian President Vladimir Putin a "killer" and slapping sanctions on Russian officials and entities over the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny.

More santions are expected over election interference and the SolarWinds cyberattack, CNN said.

Russian Federation is increasing forces near the state border of Ukraine in the north, east and south, Colonel-General, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak said.


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