“We made a big fuss about the fact that we were conducting exercises on our territory near the Ukrainian border. I instructed the Ministry of Defense to quietly finish and withdraw troops, if anyone is so worried. We did it, but instead of reacting positively to it : “Okay, well, we understood your reaction to our indignation,” – instead, what did they do? They clung to our borders, “the Russian president said.
The head of the Kremlin did not specify what exactly he means by the word “pinned”, apparently, we are talking about the incident with the British warship Defender, which he commented on before.
The presenter recalled that during his address to the Federal Assembly, Putin said that Russia was “constantly hooked” by Western countries.
“This is not what worries me. I am concerned about a more fundamental thing: the beginning of the military development of Ukrainian territory. The military development of the territory that directly borders with us creates significant security problems for us. This concerns the real vital interests of the Russian Federation and the people of Russia. concern and we must think about it “, – said the head of the Kremlin, noting that according to the Constitution on the territory of Ukraine there can be no military bases of other states.
In 2014, Russia occupied Crimea and launched an armed aggression in eastern Ukraine. The fighting is between the Ukrainian Armed Forces on the one hand and the Russian army and Russian-backed militants who control parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions on the other. Officially, the Russian Federation does not recognize its invasion of Ukraine, despite the facts and evidence presented by Ukraine.
Since the end of March 2021, the Russian Federation has been building up troops near the border with Ukraine and in the occupied Crimea. Ukrainian intelligence said that Russia wanted to expand its military presence in the territory controlled by the DPR and LPR militants by introducing regular units of the Russian armed forces, and did not rule out an attempt to move Russian troops deep into Ukraine.
The head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Kirill Budanov said on April 14 that the Russian Federation had pulled at least 89 thousand troops to the border with Ukraine. EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Josep Borrell said on April 19 that about 100 thousand Russian troops were concentrated near the Ukrainian borders. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, without naming the exact size of the Russian forces, noted that “this is the largest force build-up that we have seen since 2014.”
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on April 13 that Russia had deployed two armies and three airborne troops to the “western borders” in three weeks, all of which are involved in the exercises, which will be completed within 14 days. On April 22, he announced that the set goals had been achieved and that from April 23, the troops would begin to return to their permanent deployment points. At the same time, he said that the equipment and weapons of the 41st combined arms army, which will be involved in the exercises in September, will remain at the Pogonovo training ground in the Voronezh region.
Russia partially withdrew the military from the occupied Crimea, but on the eastern border of Ukraine, in the Voronezh region, they remained, said the head of the State Border Service of Ukraine Serhiy Deineko on April 28.
On May 5, The New York Times, citing senior officials in the US Presidential Administration, Joe Biden, reported that Russia had withdrawn several thousand troops, but about 80,000 troops remain along the border with Ukraine, which is still the largest number of forces that Russia has accumulated there since the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmitry Kuleba, as of June 12, the Russian Federation withdrew no more than 12 thousand of its military, the threat of a military operation remains.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky reported on June 26 that 100 thousand Russian troops remain at the border of Ukraine.