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Scoop of the day: Zelenskyy acknowledges Russian military buildup

Scoop of the day: Zelenskyy acknowledges Russian military buildup

Russian military buildup

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has acknowledged for the first time in a fortnight the accumulation of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine. According to him, the number of troops exceeds 100,000.

Zelenskyy said that Western partners had provided information about the "active movement of Russian troops along the Ukrainian borders and the increase in their concentration".

"The entire world can clearly see who exactly wants peace and who has amassed almost 100,000 troops on our border," the president said.

He added that the Ukrainian army and intelligence were ready for any scenario, and in the eighth year of war such behaviour by the Russian Federation "does not surprise or frighten".

USA concerned about potential Russian invasion of Ukraine

The USA is raising the alarm with European Union allies that Russia may be weighing a potential invasion of Ukraine, Bloomberg has reported.

"With Washington closely monitoring a buildup of Russian forces near the Ukrainian border, US officials have briefed EU counterparts on their concerns over a possible military operation, according to multiple people familiar with the matter," it said.

Belarusian border

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry will send an additional 8,500 troops to the areas of potential illegal migrant flow at the border with Belarus. These will include 3,000 from the State Border Service, 3,500 from the National Guard and 2,000 from the National Police. Fifteen helicopters will join the patrolling and ensure mobility, if necessary.

Donbas

Russia-backed militants have stepped up shooting attacks since midnight, having committed 12 ceasefire violations, the Joint Forces Operaiton HQ has said.

They fired heavy weapons banned by the Minsk agreements, including 122-mm artillery and 120-mm mortars newar Maryinka, 122-mm artillery and 120-mm mortars near Novozvanivka, in addition to smaller weapons near Zaytseve, Troyitske, Hnutove, Luhanske, Shyrokyne and Krymske.

Ex-SBU officers suspected of hacking Ukraine state agencies

The Prosecutor-General's Office has charged in absentia eight former employees of the Crimean office of the Security Service of Ukraine, who are now officers of the Russian Federal Security Service, with committing state treason.

According to the investigation, the criminal organization set up by special and intelligence agencies of foreign special services has committed unauthorized interference in computers, computer networks, information and telecommunication systems of state authorities, enterprises, institutions and organizations of Ukraine, as well as other countries for the purpose of collecting intelligence data, committing sabotage and other crimes.

Law enforcers uncovered a unit of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) whose employees were using the Armageddon hacker group to attack critical information infrastructure facilities of institutions which ensure the proper functioning of Ukraine's economic and law enforcement systems and its defence capability.

Bayraktar to buy Ukrainian engines

The Ukrainian state-run company Ivchenko-Progress and the Turkish company Baykar Makina have signed a cooperation agreement which envisages supplies of engines produced in Ukraine for Turkish-made UAVs.

The signing took place during the SAHA Expo exhibition in Istanbul, Ukrinform reported.

The Baykar Makina company described the agreement as historic.

SBU sends confiscated weapons to army

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has handed over to the Defence Ministry a large batch of weapons worth about 1bn hryvnyas, which the counterintelligence seized during special operations.

The weaponry was recognised as physical evidence in SBU proceedings and was under arrest.

"Given the situation in the state, special service investigators prepared a petition: the Defence Ministry agreed to accept this military property on its books, and the court and the government authorised the transfer. This is the first such case in Ukraine's history," the SBU said.

Resignation

Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko has tendered his resignation letter. In particular, he described as illogical the decision to detach the State Film Agency from his ministry and resubordinate it to the government.

Ex-speaker's project

In an exclusive commentary to LB.ua, ex-speaker Dmytro Razumkov denied a possible merger with Arsen Avakov and Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

"Each of us has our own ideological niche and positioning. Arsen Avakov said it absolutely correctly. They are centre-right. I will be closer to the left centre. Yes, both they and I are centrists. Centrism will really unite the country. But we have not launched any common political projects with Arsen Borysovych," he said, ading that allegations to the contrary were spread by the presidential office.

Energy

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on big business and journalists to stop "spreading the news about the shortage" of coal and gas. In his address to Ukrainians, the president warned that the state "is running out of its angelic patience, and a hellish period is starting for someone".

"The energy crisis is not in Ukraine. The energy crisis is in the world today. Of course, it affects our situation as well, but it is definitely not as tragic as some hysterical media paint it, and it is definitely better compared to many other countries. The price of gas in Europe has crossed the $1,000 mark for the first time ever, and then crossed the $2,000 mark. At the same time, it is $290 in Ukraine," he said.

Incident

Opposition MP Geo Leros has been handed a notice of suspicion over hooliganism in parliament. Last week Leros showed a middle finger to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who came to parliament to introduce a candidate for defence minister.

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