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26.01.2022 17:42 News >> Russia's Largest Party Pushes To Send Arms To Breakaway Ukrainian Regions

Russia's Largest Party Pushes To Send Arms To Breakaway Ukrainian Regions

Head of largest political party in State Duma says Moscow fears NATO amassing group of troops near Russia's borders.

In a move that could further raise tensions over Ukraine, Russia's largest political party announced on Wednesday that it had asked the government to authorize arms deliveries to Ukraine's breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Speaking in the lower chamber of parliament, the State Duma, Vladimir Vasilyev, head of the United Russia group, claimed that 120,000 Ukrainian troops had gathered along the line of engagement in Donbas, eastern Ukraine amid constant deliveries of arms and military equipment to those troops.
"Tensions in the region are being escalated by the United States and other NATO countries, which supply Ukraine with weapons and military instructors, and have also increased the number of exercises in the Black Sea. We believe that the West is trying to amass a large group of troops near Russia's borders," he said.
Commenting on the initiative, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov again pushed for implementation of the 2014 Minsk Protocol for Donbas, saying that afterwards, "all questions will disappear."
In a separate statement, Andrey Turchak, the State Duma's first deputy chair, urged that "support be provided" to Donetsk and Luhansk "in the form of supplies of certain types of weapons" to strengthen their defense and deter an attack by the Ukrainian army.
Turchak underlined that NATO has been delivering weapons to Ukraine in recent months, adding that "only this year and just from the US and UK, dozens of flights were carried out to Ukraine."
"NATO countries themselves do not deny that they are doing that," he said, adding that "so-called instructors keep coming to Ukraine – NATO's professional military."
Among other aims, they are preparing Ukraine's troops to mount military operations in urban areas, alleged Turchak, adding that the amount of gunfire in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions "has risen tenfold."
Claiming that "curators" from the West are pressuring Kyiv to order the invasion of the breakaway Donbas region, he said that in light of this, Moscow should provide Donetsk and Luhansk with "deliveries of separate kinds of weapons to boost their defense capabilities and hold back the obviously prepared Kyiv military aggression."
Kyiv and Moscow have been locked in a conflict since hostilities in Donbas, eastern Ukraine broke out in 2014 after Russia illegally annexed the Crimean peninsula.
Russia also recently amassed tens of thousands of troops near Ukraine's borders, prompting fears that Kremlin could be planning another military offensive against its ex-Soviet neighbor.
Moscow has denied it is preparing to invade and said its troops are instead there for exercises.
It has also issued a list of security demands to NATO, including that Ukraine not join NATO, to calm down existing tensions. -



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