Chief of Ukraine's General Staff: Russia masses strike forces on Ukraine border
Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Viktor Muzhenko has announced that Russia has recently increased its military presence on the Ukrainian border, having massed three divisions of motorized rifle troops capable of conducting rapid offensive operations.
"These are the 3rd (permanently based in Valuyki, Russia's Belgorod Oblast), the 144th (Smolensk, Smolensk Oblast) and the 150th (Novocherkassk, Rostov Oblast) divisions of motorized rifle troops. It is very symbolic that the Russian leaders have chosen to deploy these units near the eastern borders of Ukraine on a permanent basis," the General Staff's press service quoted Muzhenko as saying on Facebook on Sunday, July 23.
According to him, their organization and establishment, as well as the armament and military equipment they have in use indicate that these Russian divisions are strike forces and are capable of conducting rapid offensive operations.
One division consists of from 5,000 to 20,000 servicemen.
Read alsoUkrainian-Belarusian border never to be border of war: Poroshenko-Lukashenko meetingEarlier, Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said that the joint Russian-Belarusian military drills, West 2017, which are scheduled for September 14-20, 2017, could be used to unleash aggression both against Ukraine and any other European country that shares the border with Russia. Up to 13,000 military personnel are expected to take part in the exercise.