Stepan Poltorak / Photo from UNIAN

Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak says Russia has massed over 77,000 troops on the border with Ukraine.

"On our border, it has massed 19 battalion tactical groups of the combat echelon and reserve forces with over 77,000 troops," he has said in an interview with the government's newspaper Uriadovy Kurier.

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They have almost 1,000 tanks, 2,300 combat vehicles, over 1,100 artillery systems and about 400 multiple rocket launchers, he said.

What is more, two so-called "army corps" of the occupation forces stationed in Russian-occupied Donbas number almost 40,000 troops, he said.

According to Poltorak, these "corps" are "an integral part of the Southern Military District of the Russian Armed Forces."

"They have the same model of training, supply chains, logistics, a tactical control system. And if they want – and we have seen this many times, they can cease fire," Poltorak said.

Russia's hybrid military forces shelled the Ukrainian army's positions in Donbas more than 15,000 times in 2017, he said.