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Ukraine says Russian invasion is not imminent, situation is ‘under control’

Top Ukrainian officials are reassuring residents that a Russian invasion is not imminent and that the situation is “under control” as concerns grow that Moscow is planning an incursion against the nation.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday said the circumstances in the region were “under control,” asserting that there is “no reason to panic,” according to The Associated Press.

Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov also said that day that the threat of an offensive “doesn’t exist” at the moment because Russia’s armed forces have not yet established what he described as battle groups, “which would have indicated that tomorrow they would launch an offensive.”

“There are risky scenarios. They’re possible and probable in the future,” Reznikov told Ukraine’s ICTV channel, according to the AP. “But as of today … such a threat doesn’t exist.”

National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov sounded a similar note, arguing that the wave of Russian troops amassed at Ukraine’s border “is not news.”

“As of today, we don’t see any grounds for statements about a full-scale offensive on our country,” Danilov added on Monday, according to the AP.

The reassurance by Ukrainian officials comes as the U.S. and its allies are becoming increasingly worried that Russia may be preparing to launch an incursion against Ukraine. Moscow has more than 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border, heightening tensions in the region. Russia, however, has denied having plans to invade.

Moscow and Washington have engaged in diplomatic discussions for days, but no breakthroughs have been reached — the U.S. has said Russia’s demands are non-starters, leaving the two countries stuck in what appears to be a stalemate.

The Pentagon announced on Monday that it was putting 8,500 U.S. troops on “heightened preparedness to deploy.” One day prior, the State Department said it was ordering family members of government employees at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv to depart the country, and allowing nonessential staffers to leave.

NATO also revealed on Monday that it was sending additional ships and fighter jets to Eastern Europe.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to the U.S. and NATO’s movements on Monday, arguing that Washington is “fomenting tensions” because of Ukraine, according to the AP.

Peskov said Washington’s decision to put troops on high alert did not influence deliberations because the current stage of discussions have come to a close, according to Reuters. He also noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin is slated to speak with French President Emmanuel Macron this week, who is also supposed to talk to Zelensky.

Tags . Russia-Ukraine conflict Russia Emmanuel Macron Russia Vladimir Putin

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