As fighting with Russian-backed separatists escalates in eastern Ukraine, Russia predicts a terrifying escalation and threatening the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) not to send troops to the site of the conflict.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the battles produced were already frightening enough, and multiple “provocations” were still being generated, according to Reuters last Nov. 3.
“We do not indulge in wishful thinking. Regrettably, the realities along the engagement line are rather frightening. Provocations by the Ukrainian armed forces do take place. They are not casual. There have been many of them,” Peskov said.
Just the day before, NATO expressed concern about the large military device deployed by Russia on the border, and NATO predicted that the clashes in Donbas could “destroy” Ukraine.
It also warned that it would provoke further tensions if NATO sent troops, forcing Moscow to take additional measures to ensure its security.
Notwithstanding the warnings, NATO fighter jets intervened on March 29 ten times, intercepting six different groups of Russian military aircraft near its airspace.
Since March 30, twenty-eight tactical battalion groups of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation have been stationed along the Ukrainian state border.
For his part, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the Russian troop movements across the border in a message via his Twitter account.
“Muscle-flexing in the form of military exercises on the border with #Ukraine is an attempt to put pressure in the negotiations on ceasefire and peace as our value,” he wrote.
He added: “We are always ready for provocations. [The] army is not only strength and power, but also wisdom and balance..”
Muscle-flexing in the form of military exercises on the border with #Ukraine is an attempt to put pressure in the negotiations on ceasefire and peace as our value. We are always ready for provocations. 🇺🇦 army is not only strength and power, but also wisdom and balance.
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) April 1, 2021
In turn, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab expressed concern about the fighting and said that the UK would support the sovereignty and “territorial integrity” of Ukraine.
According to Reuters, the Pentagon declared that the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, “condemned recent escalations of Russian aggressive and provocative actions in eastern Ukraine” but did not announce strategies to be followed.
The war developed in this region in 2014 caused at least 14,000 deaths, and now the Ukrainian armed forces are on high alert.