US: Up to 190,000 Russian troops now along Ukraine border

The U.S. envoy to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on Friday detailed reports that up to 190,000 Russian troops are now along the Ukrainian border.

Ambassador Michael Carpenter said the OSCE has found evidence that 169,000 to 190,000 Russian troops are now at the border, compared to the around 100,000 thought to be in the region on Jan. 30.

The numbers come from troops counted in Belarus and Crimea as well as the Russian National Guard and Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine, among other security units. 

“Colleagues, this is the most significant military mobilization in Europe since the Second World War,” Carpenter stated.

The report comes days after Russia claimed it was scaling back troops at the border, claims that Western countries have found to be false. 

The ambassador, like other U.S. officials, also warned of false flag operations Russia could conduct to spur an invasion. 

“We are aware that Russia is intent on creating a pretext to justify an invasion into Ukraine,” Carpenter said. “Therefore, we must resolutely rebut the false narrative about a Ukrainian ‘escalation,’ which finds no evidence whatsoever in the reports of the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission.”

Russia has rejected risk-reduction commitments under the Vienna document, with the OSCE calling on Russia to take multiple steps to reduce tensions in the area. 

Among the requests are answering specific questions about the buildup of troops and equipment, releasing information about all military operations near Ukraine and withdrawing troops. 

Russia has insisted it will not invade Ukraine, while President Biden has warned of a “very high” chance of an attack.

Tags Joe Biden OSCE Russia tension troop buildup Ukraine

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