Ukraine Accuses Russia of Full-Scale Invasion Threat

World | March 13, 2014, Thursday // 10:12|  views

A Russian national flag waves in the bay of Seavastopol, Crimea, Ukraine, 12 March 2014. Photo by EPA/ZURAB KURTSIKID

Ukraine's officials accused Russia of conducting a large military build-up near the country's border that raises the threat of an invasion.

Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Andriy Parubiy warned that he has "every reason to believe" that Russian forces along Ukraine's southern and eastern borders will invade, KyivPost reports.

"Ukraine now faces the threat of a full-scale invasion," Parubiy said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Parubiy claimed that Russia had deployed more than 80,000 troops, up to 270 tanks and 140 combat planes close to the border.

He said that Ukraine would rely on military, police and a newly formed National Guard of 20,000 volunteers to protect its borders.

However, Russian deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov denied a military build-up on the Ukrainian border, Wednesday.

Russia has secured control over Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, and Parliament has given President Vladimir Putin permission to use military forces to protect Russian population in Ukraine.

Crimea is to hold a referendum on Sunday asking residents if they want the territory to become part of Russia. Ukraine's government and western nations have condemned the referendum calling it illegitimate and warned Russia against trying to annex Crimea.

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Tags: Crimea, military build-up, Andriy Parubiy, invasion, Anatoly Antonov, Vladimir Putin, Referendum, annex


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