The United States, finding reports of Russian military movements on Ukraine's border credible, asked Moscow to explain the "provocations" and is ready to engage on the situation, the U.S. State Department said Monday.
State Department spokesman Ned Price told a news briefing that the United States would be concerned by any effort by Moscow to intimidate Ukraine, whether it occurred on Russian territory or within Ukraine, VOA reported with reference to Reuters.
"We've asked Russia for an explanation of these provocations," Price said. "But more importantly, what we have signaled with our Ukrainian partners is a message of reassurance."
In turn, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that "recent escalations of Russian aggression and escalation in eastern Ukraine" is "something we're watching closely."
Read alsoKremlin tries to explain military build-up near UkraineRussian troops amassed along Ukraine's borders
- 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.
- On March 31, The New York Times reported Russia was pulling 4,000 troops to the border with Ukraine.
- Footage was shared on the Internet, showing a train with Russian military hardware en route along the Kerch Strait bridge to occupied Crimea.
- The U.S. European Command raised its alert status to the highest level after fighting had resumed between Russia-led forces and Ukrainian troops in Donetsk region.
- The U.S. Department of Defense said it was "aware of Russian troop movements" on Ukraine's borders and was concerned about recent escalations of Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine.