Russian troops near Ukraine's borders may exceed 70,000 by 2018 - intel

13:41, 04 July 2016
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7,000 Russian regular servicemen are currently stationed in the Donbas conflict zone, as part of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, according to Vadym Skibitsky, representative of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of Ukraine's Defence Ministry who spoke with 112 Ukraine TV channel, Ukraine Today reports.

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"In the meantime, three new [Russian] divisions are deployed near the borders of our country. Two Russian army corps are stationed in eastern Ukraine on the militant-held Luhansk and Donetsk regions, comprising 35,000 people, including 7,000 Russian regular troops," Skibitsky said, according to Ukraine Today.

By 2018, the Russian military contingent near Ukraine's borders may exceed 70,000 servicemen.

"According to Ukraine's Intelligence Department, the militant group keeps increasing near the [Ukrainian] border. By 2018, the [Russian] contingent will consist of about 70,000 troops", said Vadym Skibitsky.

Read alsoUkraine intel reports at least 22 militant Grads on frontline10,000 Ukrainians were killed by ‘Russian-terrorist forces' over the past two years, since the conflict in the Donbas region broke out, recently reported Ukraine's Defence Council. More than 20,000 have been wounded and 1.8 million forced to flee their homes.

Nearly 40,000 Russian soldiers are stationed near the Ukraine-Russia border, according to a recent analysis by Stratfor.

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