US official says buildup of Russian forces near Ukraine is ‘concerning’

US official says buildup of Russian forces near Ukraine is ‘concerning’

A US defense official told CBS News that there is a “concerning” buildup of Russian troops near the border with Ukraine, adding that Moscow has not announced any training in the area to account for the development.

The two countries have been in conflict since Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.

The US — which contributes millions in both non-military and military aid to Ukraine every year — and its NATO allies do not recognize Russia’s annexation of the peninsula.

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The official’s remarks come after Ukrainian Commander in Chief Ruslan Khomchack told his country’s parliament on Tuesday that Russian forces have been assembling near the border under the guise of maintaining combat readiness and preparing for exercises.

Khomchack accused Moscow of pursuing an “aggressive policy” toward Kyiv and also accused pro-Moscow separatists of violating a ceasefire in the conflict in eastern Ukraine agreed in July 2020, Reuters reported.

Kyiv says the conflict has killed 14,000 people since 2014.

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