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Kremlin says military movements near Ukraine are defensive, pose no threat

FILE PHOTO: A Ukrainian service member walks along fighting positions on the contact line with Russian-backed separatist rebels near the town of Avdiivka in Donetsk Region, Ukraine February 13, 2021. REUTERS/Oleksandr Klymenko

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Thursday that recent Russian troop and military hardware movements near Russia’s borders with Ukraine were aimed at ensuring Moscow’s own security and were not a threat to anyone.

Ukraine’s commander-in-chief this week accused Moscow of building up forces near their shared border and said that pro-Russian separatists were systematically violating a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine amid rising tensions.

On Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call that Moscow moved its troops around Russia as it saw fit.

Reporting by Dmitry Antonov and Andrew Osborn; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Andrew Osborn

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