Russian army masses on Europe’s border as US voices ‘extreme concern’ over Putin’s motives

Thursday, August 18, 2016
By Paul Martin

RUSSIA is massing tens of thousands of troops along Europe’s eastern border under the guise of war games amid growing fears that Vladimir Putin is readying his country for war.

Thu, Aug 18, 2016

Moscow has cranked up its military activity in Crimea at the same time as holding a series of what it says are pre-planned exercises and missile deployments along the frontier with Ukraine.

Kiev fears Russia is massing close to its territory in preparation for an invasion, as it did shortly before the annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014.

Up to 40,000 heavily-armed, war-ready Russian soldiers are being stationed at eight holding points along the frontier between Ukraine and Russia, according to the Pentagon.

Jets, tanks and armoured vehicles are also being deployed for what Russia insists are military exercises.

NATO sources warned earlier this year that the Kremlin was carrying out ‘snap exercises’ to dodge an obligation to invite international observers.

Russia has carried out at least a dozen of the military exercises, called at short or no notice, over the past two years.

Defence chiefs at the Belgium-based alliance fear they could be a front for preparations leading to a massing of troops along Europe’s border.

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