Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says there was a possibility of a full-scale invasion by the Russian Federation, but the situation has de-escalated.
He announced this during the All-Ukrainian forum "Ukraine 30. National Security" in the capital city of Kyiv, an UNIAN correspondent reported.
Read alsoPutin's ex-advisor suggests direction of possible Russian invasion of UkraineAnswering a question whether a further incursion by the Russian Federation into Ukrainian territory is still possible, Zelensky said: "As of today, after the likely possible, powerful escalation could have taken place, I believe today it has stopped. No one can guarantee anything here, because no one expected such steps from the Russian Federation in 2014, so no one can guarantee anything [now]."
"The fact that we see the escalation decrease in the past month, that's for sure. What we really see and record. What will happen next? Let's believe no full-scale war will take place," Zelensky said.
Russian military build-up along Ukraine borders, in occupied Crimea
- 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 preparations for military drills.
- Fifteen warships of Russia's Caspian Flotilla entered the Black Sea.
- Russia also relocated Su-25SM3 warplanes from Russia's Stavropol Krai (Territory) to occupied Crimea.
- On April 22, 2021, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said his country would begin the withdrawal of troops, which had taken part in military exercises in occupied Crimea and near the borders of Ukraine, to their permanent bases in the Southern and Western Military Districts.
- On May 6, 2021, Zelensky said the Russian Federation had withdrawn only 3,500 troops from occupied Crimea out of tens of thousands of military personnel deployed on the borders and temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.
- Moreover, on April 24, 2021, the Russian Federation closed off several areas of the Black Sea near occupied Crimea for foreign warships and government ships. The restriction will be in effect from 21:00 local time on April 24 to 21:00 local time on October 31, 2021.