Russian Chief of General Staff Slams Reports About 'Imminent Invasion of Ukraine' as Fake
Weeks before Presidents Putin and Biden had a video call on 7 December to discuss the most pressing bilateral and international issues, speculation appeared in the Western media alleging Russia has been building up military forces near Ukraine to "invade".
The Russian Chief of General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, has dismissed reports about Russia's alleged preparations to invade Ukraine as fake.
According to him, the fact that the West has been supplying helicopters, drones and aircraft to Ukraine has pushed Kiev to take drastic and dangerous steps.
"The supply of helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft to Ukraine is pushing the Ukrainian authorities to take drastic and dangerous steps. Kiev does not fulfil the Minsk agreements. The Ukrainian armed forces have announced the beginning of the use of Javelin anti-tank missile systems, which were supplied by the United States, and also the use of Turkish-made reconnaissance and strike unmanned aerial vehicles in Donbas. As a result, the already-tense situation in the east of this country is aggravating," Gerasimov told a briefing attended by foreign military attaches.
Mr. Gerasimov added that Kiev's military provocations will be suppressed.
The Russian Chief of General Staff also noted that NATO's military activity has significantly increased in recent years, with some 40 large drills being held near the borders of Russia annually.
"The tensions in Europe are not decreasing. In recent years, the military activity of the North Atlantic Alliance has increased significantly. Every year, about 40 major NATO military exercises are held in the immediate vicinity of the Russian borders," Gerasimov said.
He added that the US strategic aviation often appears near Russian airspace and practices the use of cruise missiles at targets inside Russia.
On AUKUS Bloc
Gerasimov commented on the formation of the trilateral bloc between Australia, the US and the UK, dubbed AUKUS, calling it a destabilising factor, as it creates preconditions for the spread of nuclear technology through the creation of a nuclear submarine fleet in Australia.
"The creation of blocs clearly directed against another state is a destabilising factor. The AUKUS bloc creates the preconditions for the spread of nuclear technology. The creation of Australia's nuclear submarine fleet could become a new stage in the struggle for regional dominance not only in the Asia-Pacific but also in other regions of the world," Gerasimov said.
The Russian Ministry of Defence is actively interacting with partners in the Asia-Pacific region and advocates "multilateral mechanisms for ensuring security in the region, taking into account the interests of all states," he added.
On Criticism of Russia's Recent Anti-Satellite Missile Test
The wreckage of an old Soviet satellite downed earlier this month is under control and does not threaten active space objects, Gerasimov said.
The Russian defence ministry said that on 15 November, Russia successfully conducted a test to shoot down an inoperative Russian spacecraft, Tselina-D.
"The fragments do not pose a threat to space activities in orbit. At present, the fragments move along trajectories outside the plane of the space stations' orbits, are under observation and included in the main catalogue of the Russian space control system," Gerasimov told a briefing.
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