Pres­i­dent: Rus­sian forces grow at bor­der

The Washington Post Sunday - - THE WORLD -

Rus­sia is build­ing up its land forces and weapons along the bor­der, Ukraine’s pres­i­dent said Satur­day. Ten­sions be­tween Rus­sia and Ukraine were still es­ca­lat­ing a week af­ter a naval clash in the Black Sea on Nov. 25 in which Rus­sia fired on three Ukrainian naval ships then seized them and their 24 crew mem­bers.

Speak­ing at a Ukrainian mil­i­tary event, Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko said Rus­sia has de­ployed “more than 80,000 troops, 1,400 ar­tillery and mul­ti­ple rocket launch sys­tems, 900 tanks, 2,300 ar­mored com­bat ve­hi­cles, 500 air­craft and 300 he­li­copters” along their com­mon bor­der. Th­ese num­bers, which have not been ver­i­fied, would ac­count for the vast ma­jor­ity of men and hard­ware as­signed to Rus­sia’s Western Mil­i­tary Dis­trict.

The naval clash came as the Ukrainian ships sailed to the Kerch Strait, the only wa­ter­way lead­ing into the Sea of Azov and the site of a new key Rus­sian bridge link­ing oc­cu­pied Crimea with the Rus­sian main­land. A 2003 Rus­sia-Ukraine agree­ment des­ig­nates the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait as shared in­ter­nal wa­ters. But fol­low­ing Rus­sia’s 2014 an­nex­a­tion of Crimea, Moscow has as­serted greater con­trol over the pas­sage.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.