German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Joe Biden have called on the Russian Federation to withdraw its troops from the Ukrainian border to de-escalate the situation.
"The chancellor and the president stressed the importance of close coordination and cooperation. Another topic was the situation in the east of Ukraine," German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said following a phone talk between the two leaders, as reported on the Federal Government's website.
Read alsoU.S. Mission to OSCE calls on Russia to explain pulling of troops to Ukraine bordersHe said the officials had exchanged views on the latest developments in eastern Ukraine and called on Russia to withdraw troops from the Ukrainian border.
In turn, the White House said in a statement that "the leaders expressed concern about the build-up of Russian troops on Ukraine's borders and in occupied Crimea, and reaffirmed their support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity."
Russian troops amassing along Ukraine's borders
- On March 30, 2021, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel-General Ruslan Khomchak said Russia had deployed 28 battalion tactical groups along the state border of Ukraine and in the temporarily occupied territories. It is also said to be planning to bring up to 25 battalion tactical groups under the guise of preparing for military drills. Such actions pose a threat to Ukraine's military security.
- According to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, enemy troops are reinforcing their advanced units with reconnaissance teams and sniper pairs, involving Russian army instructors in personnel training. Russia-led forces' artillery units are reportedly on full alert in certain districts, including villages and towns in occupied Ukrainian territory.
- On March 31, 2021, The New York Times reported Russia was pulling 4,000 troops to the border with Ukraine.
- Footage was shared on the Internet, showing a train with Russian military hardware en route along the Kerch Strait bridge to occupied Crimea.
- The U.S. European Command raised its alert status to the highest level after fighting had resumed between Russia-led forces and Ukrainian troops in Donetsk region.
- The U.S. Department of Defense said it was "aware of Russian troop movements" on Ukraine's borders and was concerned about recent escalations of Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine.
- The United States, finding reports of Russian military movements on Ukraine's border credible, asked Moscow to explain the "provocations" and is ready to engage on the situation.
- On April 8, 2021, Khomchak assured the situation was under control, and the Ukrainian military was ready to respond to the escalation both in the temporarily occupied territory of Luhansk and Donetsk regions and along the entire Ukrainian-Russian border.