Kremlin tries to explain military build-up near Ukraine / REUTERS

Russian President Vladimir Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov assures the troops spotted moving in military vehicles with covered-up license plates in Russia's Rostov region "will not get lost" and will not end up in Ukraine.

"No one has been wandering. The Russian army is moving across Russian territory in the directions it considers it necessary, the way it considers it necessary, to ensure safety and security of our country," Peskov said, answering a question from an UNIAN correspondent in Russia.

The correspondent asked why the Russian troops had become so "shy" and were moving along Ukraine's border in vehicles with covered-up license plates. He also asked whether there was any guarantee that the units "will not get lost" in Ukraine as was the case in 2014, when the war in Donbas began.

According to Peskov, this should not cause "any concern" to anyone.

Read alsoRussian helicopters spotted near Ukraine's borderAnswering another question from UNIAN whether this statement concerns Ukraine as well, Peskov said: "Russia does not pose a threat to any country in the world, including, of course, Ukraine. But it is always very attentive to its own security."

Earlier, the Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) shared footage that might be proof that Russia has been deploying convoys of military equipment toward the border with Ukraine, while covering up license plates on military vehicles.

Escalation in Donbas: Details

  • 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.
  • The Ukrainian Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate does not rule out that enemy forces may try to go for an incursion and deploy their troops deeper into the territory of Ukraine. According to intelligence reports, Russia is building up its military presence near the Ukrainian borders and is completing the preparation of a set of measures aimed at forcing Ukraine into a military response.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says Moscow is trying to put pressure on Kyiv by amassing its military forces along the Russian-Ukrainian border. At the same time, he assures Ukraine is ready to counter any provocation and continues to defend in the negotiations the position of maintaining a more effective ceasefire in Donbas.