Russia accused of ‘ridiculous fraud’ over claims troops are withdrawing from Ukraine border… as Putin ‘deploys MORE forces’

The NGA has been accused of being a “ridiculous” scammer for claiming it has withdrawn its troops from the border with Ukraine.

This allegation comes from reputable independent analysts who have cast doubt on Russia’s footage of its forces retreating, while Nato says Moscow may in fact be increasing its numbers. mine.

Russia released a video of the withdrawal of their tanks


Russia released a video of the withdrawal of their tanksCredit: AP
Private Andrij from Ukraine holds his weapon as he watches from the bunker


Private Andrij from Ukraine holds his weapon as he watches from the bunkerCredit: Getty
Vladimir Putin has denied any intention of aggression against Ukraine


Vladimir Putin has denied any intention of aggression against UkraineCredit: AFP

It comes as US intelligence fears a full-scale Russian invasion could be waged within hours, initiating a conflict of a scale not seen since World War II.

However, last minute and high-level diplomatic negotiations continued in a frantic attempt to avert a devastating war that could kill millions – the region remains in a state of calm for now. fragile static.

Russia confirmed it would send more troops and weapons to the bases and released a video showing tanks and other vehicles leaving the Crimean peninsula.

However, Russian researchers with the Conflict Intelligence Team said that, in addition to the forces being withdrawn from invasion-ready positions, they were merely returned to permanent bases just 15 miles away. mile.

Pointing out that only one of the three divisions to be withdrawn – the 42nd Motorized Rifle Division – was stationed far away from the area so the moves would not be able to loosen the noose around Ukraine.

A CIT spokesman said the lawsuit filed by the 3rd and 150th Motorized Rifle Divisions being withdrawn was “absurd”.

“Their bases are only close to the border with Ukraine, specifically they are withdrawn to the Ukrainian border,” the spokesman added.

The Russian claim is also being treated with skepticism by Nato, who Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says is “on the contrary” more troops are being built.

“We haven’t seen any de-escalation on the ground,” said Mr. Stoltenberg, ahead of the tense coalition meeting.

“On the contrary, it seems that Russia continues to build up its military.”

And British Defense Secretary Wallace also called for caution, warning Russia was still prepared to invade and saying it should be judged for its actions.

“Russia has the size of a force that is now assembled and ready, locked and loaded to some degree, ready to go if they want to do so since yesterday, and that has been proven,” he said. proved absolutely right,” he said.

Wallace said the latest intelligence shows that 60 percent of Russia’s ground combat power remains on the Ukrainian border along with significant naval forces at sea.

“I think what we have not seen is evidence of the withdrawal that has been claimed by the Kremlin,” he said.

“Instead, we’ve seen the strategic construction of things like field hospitals and strategic weapons systems.”

Russia’s actions appear to be aimed at allaying fears of aggression – even as the US says the threat of attack remains.

It comes like:

Russia denies any intention of aggression against Ukraine.

People fear that today may be the day for a “wrong flag“Attack by Russia – a staged incident to be used to justify an invasion.

However, dawn broke over Ukraine without a single shot being fired or the first rockets falling, but the atmosphere remained tense.

Today, plans have been made for a nationwide “Day of Unity” vigil.

Ukrainians will be encouraged to stand together in spite of 10 a.m. to sing the national anthem.

Kyiv has called for calm as preparations continue for a possible invasion by Russia – with everyday people take up arms.

Western warnings of a Russian nighttime attack at around 3 a.m. came and went without incident amid the ever-changing and volatile situation.

Putin is keeping the West guessing about his next move when NATO defense ministers will meet today in Brussels.

Russia continues to have around 130,000 people on Ukraine’s eastern and southern borders with about 40,000 pro-Putin forces in Belarus to the north.

And another 30,000 pro-Russian separatists are facing Ukrainian defense forces in the separatist Donbas region.

Read ours Russia Ukraine live blog for latest update

Meanwhile, a series of cyberattacks took down the websites of the Ukrainian military, defense ministry and major banks.

And then Russian lawmakers urged Putin to recognize rebel-held areas of eastern Ukraine as independent states.

The State Duma, Russia’s lower house, voted to submit an appeal to Putin to that effect.

Putin said he was open to further dialogue with the US and its NATO allies.

However, the country’s senior figures continue to claim the country is under a great threat from US forces at the border.

Mikhail Popov, Vice Chairman of Russia’s Security Council, said: “They [US troops’] The main goal in Europe is to pose a constant threat to our country.

“To this end, a substantial group of US armed forces has been formed in the region, numbering more than 60,000 servicemen, 200 tanks, and about 150 combat aircraft.”

The number of US ground forces has increased by 30% in seven years, he said.

A spokesman for Vladimir Putin mocked NATO’s efforts to monitor Russia’s troop withdrawal.

“A certain disadvantage can be found in the NATO situation assessment system,” said Dmitry Peskov.

“This will most likely not allow NATO representatives to make sober assessments of the situation.”

He also suggested that Russia had “nothing to do” with a series of large-scale cyberattacks on Ukraine.

“We know nothing, and as expected, Ukraine continues to blame Russia for everything,” he said.

The US and UK have both promised to retaliate with massive economic sanctions against Russia if it invades Ukraine.

However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow would retaliate with its own sanctions.

Russia is staging a new military deployment near Ukraine


Russia is staging a new military deployment near UkraineCredit: East2West
Tank rolls around in the area near Ukraine


Tank rolls around in the area near UkraineCredit: East2West
Ukrainian soldiers prepare to defend their homes


Ukrainian soldiers prepare to defend their homesCredit: AP
Russian Navy ship Dmitriy Rogachev 375 sails off the Black Sea
Russian Navy ship Dmitriy Rogachev 375 sails off the Black Sea

Kyiv and Moscow have had a hostile relationship for the past eight years as Russia dislikes Ukraine’s growing closer to the West.

Putin illegally annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and has occupied it ever since.

And the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine has been at war since 2014 when Russian-backed separatists fought to secede from Kyiv.

Both countries were formerly part of the Soviet Union – but the Ukrainian government is now looking to forge closer ties with the US, UK and Europe, potentially even joining NATO.

Putin paranoidly sees Kyiv’s registration of the defensive alliance as a direct threat to Russia.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had earlier suggested that there were “mixed signals” coming from Russia about the prospect of an invasion of Ukraine, describing the situation as “not encouraging”.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden gave a televised speech in the US in which he said an invasion was still possible and stressed the US would defend all Nato territory .

In a televised address, he said: “Although I will not send American soldiers to fight in Ukraine, we have provided the Ukrainian military with equipment to help them defend themselves, and also provided training, consulting and intelligence courses for that purpose.

“And make no mistake, the United States will defend every inch of Nato territory with the full force of the United States.

“An attack against one nation of Nato is an attack against all of us.”

Kyiv Mayor Wladimir Klitschko has said he hopes for a “last-minute” diplomatic solution between Russia and Ukraine.

The former heavyweight champion of the world told LBC he hopes that Russia will not invade his country on Wednesday.

“This is the first time in Ukraine’s history that so many Russian soldiers have stayed on the border,” he said.

“The risk (of) aggression towards Ukraine is quite large. We are prepared for any scenario.

“We don’t know how the situation will develop but we hope that the invasion does not happen, and that at the last minute we have a diplomatic solution.”

US President Joe Biden warns Russia can still invade


US President Joe Biden warns Russia can still invadeCredit: AP
Prime Minister Boris Johnson doubts about Russia's 'withdrawal' from Ukraine


Prime Minister Boris Johnson doubts about Russia’s ‘withdrawal’ from UkraineCredit: PA

Armed Forces Secretary James Heappey said he was cautiously optimistic about reports some troops were withdrawing from the Ukrainian border but added that he would “continue to be extremely vigilant” over the actions of the armed forces. Russia.

He told Channel 4 News: “If, due to a combination of things over the past few weeks, the threat of economic sanctions and the impact of that threat on the Russian economy, if the costs of military action is starting to become apparent, it’s a good thing that Russia may be heading in a different direction.”

“But until those are matched up with troop movements, people like me need to continue to be extremely vigilant and aware of what we’re talking about when communicating what we’re saying,” he added. visible and the danger is present.”

After a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee, Boris Johnson said the intelligence he had received about Russia’s military activity was “not encouraging”, with the construction of field hospitals and the deployment of more. forces approaching the border indicate that they are still preparing for an invasion. .

While Mr Johnson acknowledged Russia had announced it was withdrawing troops from the border, he added that there were “more battalion-level combat groups being brought closer to the border”.

“So mixed signals, I think at the moment,” he said.

Mr Johnson also said he would introduce a new Economic Crimes Bill to tackle Russia’s “dirty” money problem in the City of London.

The news was welcomed by both Labor and Conservative MPs.

But Labor opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer warned the PM should “have his own home” by investigating whether the Tories family received any Putin-related donations.

Sir Keir also encouraged the Government “now and go strong” in using economic sanctions against Russia.

Russia was also warned by Foreign Minister Liz Truss for not sending representatives to a European security meeting about the tense situation on the Ukrainian border.

She called on the Kremlin to “commit to conducting meaningful negotiations” after it failed to send a representative to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) meeting on military build-up. Russia accused of ‘ridiculous fraud’ over claims troops are withdrawing from Ukraine border… as Putin ‘deploys MORE forces’

Bobby Allyn

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