Game of fools? The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) on Monday called “absolutely false” claims that Moscow is planning an invasion of Ukraine, after several Western countries expressed concern. “The Americans paint a terrifying picture with hordes of Russian tanks preparing to crush Ukrainian cities, assuring they have reliable information on such Russian intentions, ”SVR said in a statement sent to Russian news agencies.
The United States provides its allies with “absolutely false information about a concentration of forces (Russian) on our territory with a view to a military invasion of Ukraine, ”he added. These statements, unusual on the part of the Russian secret services, come amid escalating tensions between Moscow and Western countries over Ukraine. The United States, NATO and the European Union have expressed in recent weeks their deep concern about Russian troop movements around Ukraine, which has been in conflict since 2014 with pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country. .
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated on Saturday that the United States had “serious concerns about Russia’s unusual military activities on the border with Ukraine”. The 2014 war in Ukraine, which erupted shortly after Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, has claimed more than 13,000 lives to date. Russia is widely seen as the military godfather of pro-Russian separatists, which it denies.
Russia accuses Ukraine of “growing provocations”
Moscow has repeatedly denied any hostile project towards Ukraine, the Kremlin denouncing Sunday an American “hysteria”. “Any movement of Russian troops within the limits of our territory does not represent a threat to anyone and should not worry anyone”, tried to reassure Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday. In return, he accused Ukraine of “increasing provocations”, including “the use of arms supplied (to Kiev) by NATO countries”.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the West of fueling tensions on Ukraine’s eastern borders and the Black Sea by carrying out military exercises there. He also claimed that Western bombers had approached 20 km from Russia.
These tensions are part of a broader context of increasing tensions between Washington and Moscow, despite the desire for appeasement displayed by Mr. Putin and his American counterpart Joe Biden. The United States has thus castigated Russia in recent days for its “influence” with Belarus in the migrant crisis at the gates of the European Union and denounced Russian anti-satellite missile fire deemed “dangerous and irresponsible”.