Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says that the Russian Federation has withdrawn only about 10,000 troops from the border with Ukraine.
This was reported by the press service of the President's Office.
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"Hence, Russia is only declaring in words the withdrawal of its forces and the fulfillment of its obligations. In total, only about 10,000 servicemen have been withdrawn," he said during a meeting with a U.S. Congress delegation.
The meeting involved U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen, Robert Portman, Christopher Murphy, their advisers, as well as Chargé d'Affaires a.i. of the United States in Ukraine Kristina Kvien.
According to Zelensky, the build-up of Russian troops is currently observed in the temporarily occupied territories and along the Ukrainian border. Russia has also increased the number of aircraft and military equipment along Ukraine's borders and in occupied Crimea.
During the meeting with the Senators, video calls were held with senior members of Ukraine's military in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) zone in Donbas, so that, as Zelensky said, all parties "could be in the same information context and learn about the current situation of Ukraine firsthand."
In particular, during a video call from Orikhove, Luhansk region, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak updated on the general situation in the JFO zone and in some areas of responsibility of the Ukrainian units.
"The leadership of the Russian Federation continues to implement its plans for aggression against Ukraine. The enemy is keeping a group of Russian armed forces in the border areas of Voronezh, Belgorod, Rostov regions and in the temporarily occupied Crimea," he said.
He also mentioned snipers who come from the Russian Federation had become more active. In total, 52 cases of Russian snipers' fire have been recorded since the beginning of the ceasefire regime, as a result of which 23 Ukrainian servicemen have been killed and 12 have been wounded.
During the meeting with the Senators, Zelensky thanked for their support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, as well as for their assistance in ensuring the country's territorial integrity and sovereignty.
"I am very grateful for the bipartisan support. We are grateful to you for the military assistance," he said, expressing the hope that this assistance would be increased to further build up Ukraine's defense capabilities, including the Navy.
He also stressed the importance of continuing the policy of sanctions against Russia until it stops its aggressive actions.
"The current sanctions from the EU and the U.S. are no longer working today – Russia is used to living with them, grabbing other territories and threatening Europe. The entire civilized world cannot allow this. Therefore, I believe that it is necessary not just to put pressure, but to build a new format of sanctions policy," he added.
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