News / Europe

US: Russia Massing Troops on Ukraine Border

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (l) greets a soldier during inspection of a Ukrainian Army position outside the eastern town of Slovyansk, July 16, 2014.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (l) greets a soldier during inspection of a Ukrainian Army position outside the eastern town of Slovyansk, July 16, 2014.

The United States and NATO are growing increasingly concerned about Russia’s military posture.  The U.S. on Wednesday accused Russia of amassing thousands more troops along its border with Ukraine, as well as tanks and artillery.  

Workers in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk are starting the slow process of repairing damage from fighting.

During a visit Wednesday, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk accused Moscow of backing separatists who held the city until earlier this month.

“They created military conflict here. They, like vampires, suck money from us and kill our people," said Yatsenyuk.

And now U.S. defense officials are concerned Russia’s military posture could signal that more conflict is on the way.

“What’s most concerning really right now is the buildup, is these additional forces that are there," said Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren.

Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren says Russia now has 10,000 to 12,000 troops along the border with eastern Ukraine, up from fewer than 1,000 last month.

“We also have reason to believe that is some weaponry, possibly even some heavy weapons, that are flowing across the border into Ukraine," he said.

NATO officials tell VOA the sophistication of Russian weapons being sent to the separatists is increasing and that Moscow also appears to be supplying separatist forces with the necessary expertise to “employ them with a high degree of effectiveness.”

Jorge Benitez at the Atlantic Council says Russia’s refusal to change its behavior, despite growing economic sanctions, shows President Vladimir Putin still feels he has the upper hand.

“The U.S. is a $16 trillion economy and the EU is a $12 trillion economy and we can’t afford to be bullied by a $2 trillion gas station which is the Russian economy," said Benitez.

The U.S. and NATO have stepped up military exercises, and on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work made a case to lawmakers for funding a $1 billion European reassurance initiative.

“All of this money would go into allowing us to have more frequent forward deployments, more frequent exercises.  We’d be able to do improved infrastructure that would allow rapid reinforcement if that became necessary," said Work.

For now, U.S. military officials say it is clear Russian forces massing next to Ukraine are capable of conducting operations on either side of the border.


Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

Studies point to possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: U.S.N from: USA
July 18, 2014 5:49 PM
Russia=soviet union, PUTIN=STALIN, a bunch of godless commies.

by: Maria Thomas from: U.S.A.
July 17, 2014 11:06 AM
I was told once by a European, that Americans talk about money too much. I suppose it is because most of our anscestors were poor hungry, immigrants, usually with little social support. But you know at some point you have to see things in terms other than dollars and cents. We have a $17 trillion economy, EU has $12 trillion and RUssia a meager $2 trillion, which means just what? WIthout exploring or discussing real vulnerabilites just value in terms of dollars and cents....means nothing, plenty of super rich go bankrupt and belly up from unforseen consequences and market changes. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.....

by: olivier from: rwanda
July 17, 2014 5:20 AM
“The U.S. is a $16 trillion economy and the EU is a $12 trillion economy and we can’t afford to be bullied by a $2 trillion gas station which is the Russian economy," said Benitez. ( you are only being bullied for now...enjoy these last moment!)

by: meanbill from: USA
July 16, 2014 8:56 PM
THE WISE MAN said it; .. You just have to admire Putin, who has the US and NATO countries completely mystified on his intentions, on if he's going to attack, or if he's withdrawing, or anything, and they now have every military strategic expert they have, trying to figure out what Putin's military strategy is..... With the greatest (NSA) surveillance spy organization in the world, and the (CIA) spying on the Russian army just a quarter mile from the Ukraine border, the US and NATO intelligence services still hasn't a clue, on what the Russian army is doing? ..... NOW that's crazy, isn't it?

PS; IF ONLY the US and NATO countries had read the "Art of War" by Sun Tzu ...... REALLY

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More