Russian Troops May Be Massing To Invade Ukraine, Says White House
Mar. 23, 2014
Russian forces gathering on the border with eastern Ukraine may be poised to invade, the White House warned on Sunday, as the government in Kiev said that the prospect of war with Moscow was continuing to grow after the annexation of Crimea.
Speaking after Nato’s top commander in Europe voiced alarm about the size and preparedness of the Russian troop buildup, President Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser, Tony Blinken, said President Vladimir Putin may indeed be readying further action.
“It’s deeply concerning to see the Russian troop buildup on the border,” Blinken told CNN. “It creates the potential for incidents, for instability. It’s likely that what they’re trying to do is intimidate the Ukrainians. It’s possible that they’re preparing to move in.”
Thousands of Russian troops held a military exercise near the border even before Putin last week formally annexed Ukraine’s southern Crimea region following a referendum – condemned as illegal by western governments – that endorsed unification with Russia.
General Philip Breedlove, Nato’s supreme allied commander in Europe, said earlier on Sunday that the Russian military force gathered near the Ukrainian border was “very, very sizeable and very, very ready” and could even pose a threat to Moldova, on the other side of the country.