Ukraine can’t confirm US media reports about Russia’s supposed ‘military buildup’ on border

The Ukrainian government has no data confirming any potential buildup of Russian forces on the nation’s borders, President Volodymyr Zelensky’s spokesman said on Sunday, calling such reports elements of propaganda.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry does not confirm any of these allegations, the president’s spokesman, Sergey Nikiforov, told Ukraine’s Dom TV Channel, adding that the Russian troop concentration on Ukraine’s borders does not exceed an “ordinary” level.

Nikiforov also questioned the motives of the American media, which have recently issued a series of claims pointing to supposedly “concerning” Russian troop movements not far from the Ukrainian borders.

“It remains an open question, why the US media spread such information and whether it is true,” the spokesman said, adding that the president’s office “has no information to confirm” the allegations.

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FILE PHOTO: Russian military troops take part in a military drill some 260 km from the southern Russian city of Stavropol. © AFP / SERGEY VENYAVSKY
US sees ‘nothing overtly aggressive’ in ‘significant’ movement of Russian troops near Ukrainian border

The Washington Post was one of the first to issue such a story as it said in late October that “Russian troop movements near Ukraine border prompt concern in US, Europe.” Politico promptly followed suit in early November by publishing what it called satellite images of “new Russian military buildup near Ukraine.”

The images were allegedly demonstrating Russia’s armored units and support equipment stationed near the Russian city of Yelnya, according to the outlet’s own words. Yelna, however, is located in Russia’s Smolensk Region, which borders Belarus and not Ukraine.

The reports also sparked criticism from the Russian Foreign Ministry as its spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, called them a “fresh fake [news] campaign in the American media.”

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© Getty Images / Brendan Hoffman
Kremlin responds to Western claims that Russian troops are 'massing' on border with Ukraine

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