Moscow does not rule out that Kiev may try to solve internal problems by force, in this case the situation will pose a danger to Russia, said the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov on the air of the Russia 1 TV channel.
“Is it dangerous for us? Of course it’s dangerous. Should we take steps to ensure our safety? Yes, we should. This is what we are doing,” he said.
He also called Ukraine a country where “a civil war is about to resume”.
Peskov noted that the movement of Russian troops within their own territory should not bother other states, and Russia poses no threat to anyone. He added that during the last conversation between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin, she was the first to point out that Europe was worried about the concentration of Russian troops on the Russian-Ukrainian border, and did not demand to reduce the military presence at the borders.
The situation in Donbass escalated in March. Ukraine and the self-proclaimed republics accuse each other of violating the ceasefire, and both sides report the deaths.
The head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Denis Pushilin on the RBK TV channel said, citing intelligence, that Kiev has recently been pulling a large number of military equipment and soldiers to the contact line.
“This has not happened for a very, very long time. In fact, now the situation suggests that Ukraine is ready for escalation, full-scale hostilities,” he said.
The head of the Ukrainian delegation to the contact group on the settlement of the conflict in Donbass, ex-President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk, said that Kiev did not transfer additional troops to the contact line in Donbass.
At the end of March, The New York Times wrote that 4,000 Russian troops were pulled up to the borders of Ukraine, including in the Rostov, Bryansk and Voronezh regions, as well as in the Crimea. In total, according to the newspaper, 28 battalion tactical groups of the Russian Armed Forces are located along the borders.
The Russian Ministry of Defense explained the transfer of troops to Crimea by the planned exercises of the Southern Military District. “A control check is being carried out for the winter period of training. The events take place at 30 combined-arms training grounds, including in the Volgograd and Rostov regions, as well as in the Crimea,” said Vadim Astafiev, head of the press service of the Southern Military District.