Ukrainian troops pose with US weapons as war tensions with Russia escalate

Ukraine insists its armed forces are capable of fighting off any Russian invasion as tensions on the border between the two countries continue to grow.

The Ukrainian military marked its national army day today with a display of US armoured vehicles and patrol boats, reports Reuters.

The country has accused Russia of massing tens of thousands of troops near the border in preparation for a possible large-scale military offensive, raising the prospect of open war between the two neighbours. Western intelligence has arrived at the same conclusion based on extensive Russian troop movements.

“The servicemen of the armed forces of Ukraine continue to fulfil their most important mission – to defend the freedom and sovereignty of the state from the Russian aggressor," Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a statement.

“The Ukrainian army … is confident in its strength and able to thwart any conquest plans of the enemy.”

The defiant tone struck by Ukraine comes ahead of a video summit tomorrow between US president Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Mr Biden has pledged his "unwavering support" to Ukraine in its standoff with Moscow.

Russia has dismissed talk of a new assault on Ukraine as false and inflammatory but told the West not to cross its “red lines”, and not to allow Ukraine to join the Nato military alliance.

Ukraine has been pressing to be allowed to join Nato and said Moscow had no right to veto. Nato’s leadership has been supportive of Ukraine’s bid but says the eastern European country must first carry out defence reforms and tackle corruption.

Meanwhile, Mr Zelenskiy will travel east to the city of Kharkiv, a traditional centre for Ukrainian weapons manufacturing, to mark a delivery of tanks, armoured personal carriers and armoured vehicles.

He will also visit the region of Donetsk, where Ukraine has been fighting Russian-backed forces in a conflict that is said to have killed 14,000 people since 2014.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the creation of the Ukrainian military after winning independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Source: Read Full Article