Russia has concentrated 19 battalion tactical groups of more than 77,000 troops near the Ukrainian border and will not stop armed aggression in the Donbass, Ukraine’s Defenсe Minister Stepan Poltorak said in an interview with the “Uryadovyy Kur’yer” newspaper on 05 April.
At the moment, the government in Kyiv is ramping up its fight to reclaim Ukraine’s restive eastern regions, at the same time Russia has deployed 77,000 troops along its border with Ukraine, included modern main battle tanks. missile systems and combat aircraft.
“According to our information, Russia is not going to refuse to continue armed aggression in the east of Ukraine, as evidenced by the Russian military presence in certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions and the conduct of military operations against the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” the Ukrainian minister said.
“Only last year our positions in the east were fired by the enemy more than 15,000 times,” he added.
Ukraine’s Defenсe Minister considers it likely that the conflict will turn into a full-fledged war by the Kremlin.
“At our border, it has concentrated 19 battalion tactical groups of the first and second echelons of more than 77,000 troops. The group includes about a thousand tanks, 2.3 thousand combat vehicles, more than 1.1 thousand artillery systems and about 400 systems of multiple launch rocket systems,” – the minister noted.
In 2014, Ukraine’s pro-Moscow government, led by Viktor Yanukovych, collapsed as pressure grew for the country decisively to ally itself with the West. In response, Russia seized the Crimean Peninsula and stirred up a phony anti-Kyiv rebellion in the southeastern Donbas region. The Kremlin thought the new Ukrainian government would quickly accept that it was in Russia’s sphere of influence, but instead it resisted.