World News

Pentagon: Russian Forces on Ukraine's Border Not Conducting Routine Exercises

The Pentagon says there is no indication that Russian troops massed near the border with Ukraine are conducting routine military exercises, and that the buildup is doing nothing to de-escalate tensions in the region.

Press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said Thursday that "thousands" of Russian troops have been deployed along the border with Ukraine.



"They continue to reinforce, and it continues to be unclear what exactly the intent there is...We've seen no specific indications that exercises are taking place."



Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel by telephone last week that the troops were conducting "springtime exercises" and assured him the troops would not cross the border.

Kirby said that the presence of these troops along Ukraine's border contributes to heightened tensions and instability.



"It does nothing to de-escalate the tension in Ukraine. It does nothing to improve stability in that part of the world."



Several media outlets reported Wednesday that Western intelligence agencies believe Russia now has more than 30,000 troops on its border with eastern Ukraine, and quoted unnamed officials as saying further Russian military incursions into Ukraine are possible.

CNN quoted an unnamed Obama administration official as saying, "The likelihood of a further Russian incursion is more probable than it was previously thought to be."

Secretary Hagel said Wednesday that Russia has continued to build up military forces along its border with Ukraine, despite assurances it has no intention to invade.

On Sunday, NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe, U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, said Russia had built up a large force on Ukraine's eastern border that could move westward into Moldova's mainly Russian-speaking separatist Transdniestria region.

Breedlove said the Russian force deployed on the Ukrainian border was "very, very sizeable and very, very ready."

Intelligence sources in Ukraine tell a VOA reporter that Russian forces have established a field hospital in Russia's Bryansk region about 20 kilometers from the border with Ukraine.



Eight Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives' Armed Services Committee sent a letter to the White House on Wednesday saying there is "deep apprehension that Moscow may invade eastern and southern Ukraine, pressing west to Transdniestria, and also seek land grabs in the Baltics."

The three Baltic states - Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia - are NATO members.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs