October 2, 2017

PRE-POSITIONING? Russia Denies Ukrainian Allegations It Left Troops In Belarus.

“As far as the Russian troops which took part in the joint strategic exercises, Zapad (West) 2017, they all returned to their permanent bases,” Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in an e-mailed statement late on September 30.

The denial came after Viktor Muzhenko, the Ukrainian military’s chief of staff, made the claim in a September 29 interview with Reuters that threatens to heighten tensions between Moscow and Kyiv, which have been locked in a standoff over Russia’s 2014 seizure of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and its backing of separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The Belarus border is closer and more conveniently located to Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.

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