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War fears as Russia’s ‘ongoing aggression’ poses ‘major threat’ amid tensions with Ukraine

There has been ongoing conflict between the two nations since Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Skirmishes have been taking place between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists in Donbass.

The ongoing fighting, mixed with periods of cease-fire, is believed to have killed around 14,000 people.

Last week, Ukraine reported that four of its soldiers had been killed due to shelling by Russia forces in Donbass.

Last month, Ruslan Khomchak, commander-in-chief of the armed forces of Ukraine, claimed that Russia’s “armed aggression” in the region was a “major threat” to both Ukraine and all NATO allies.

Mr Khomchak added earlier this week that there has been an increase of Russian troops near the border.

The US have also warned against Russia’s military moves.

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken reinforced America’s support for Ukraine “in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression”.

In a State Department statement, Mr Blinken expressed his concern to Ukraine’s foreign minister “about the security situation in eastern Ukraine and offered condolences on the recent loss of four Ukrainian soldiers”.

On the same day, Russia also said it was concerned about the rising tensions in eastern Ukraine and added that Moscow feared that Ukrainian forces could restart conflict.

According to Reuters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “We express concern over the growing tension and express concern that one way or another the Ukrainian side could take provocative actions that would lead to war.

“We really don’t want to see that.”

When asked to clarify, he added: “I mean a civil war, which there already was there.”

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the escalation of tensions showed that Russia was seeking to create a “threatening atmosphere”.

Kyiv hopes to resume a ceasefire that it negotiated last year.

In a statement on Thursday, President Zelenskyy said: “Muscle-flexing in the form of military exercises and possible provocations along the border is a traditional Russian affair.”

Source: Express.co.uk

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