Senior U.S. generals say “very concerned” about Russia’s military activities near Ukraine Reuters

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© Reuters.File picture: The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and U.S. Army General Mark A. Milly answered questions at the House Armed Services Committee hearing, which was held at the “Ending U.S. Military Mission in Afghanistan” at the Raeburn Building Office Building in Washington, D.C.

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Phil Stewart

WASHINGTON (Reuters)-Senior US military officials said late Thursday that the United States is tracking enough indicators and warnings about Russia’s military activities near Ukraine to trigger “a lot of concerns” and Russia’s rhetoric seems to be getting sharper and sharper.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Army General Mark Milly refused to speculate about the various options that the United States might consider in the event of a Russian invasion. But Millay emphasized the importance of Ukrainian sovereignty to Washington and the NATO alliance in some of his most extensive comments on the crisis.

Milli said on the flight from Seoul: “If the Russians publicly take military aggression and enter a nation-state that has been independent since 1991, the major national security interests of the United States and NATO member states will be threatened.” to Washington .

Ukraine stated that Russia has assembled more than 90,000 soldiers near the long-term common border between the two countries. But Moscow rejected the proposal to launch an attack on its southern neighbors and defended its right to deploy troops on its own territory if it deems appropriate.

The Kremlin had annexed the Black Sea Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014, and then supported the rebels fighting against the Kiev government forces in the eastern part of the country. Kiev said that the conflict has killed 14,000 people and is still brewing.

Experts warn that at a time when China is increasingly anxious about Taiwan’s intentions, Russia’s unchallenged invasion may destabilize and have a chain reaction outside of Ukraine.

Millay refused to publicly state his estimate of the number of Russian troops near Ukraine, but said his concerns exceeded the original number of Russian troops.

“I will not tell you from an intelligence point of view what we are tracking and indicators or warnings, but we will track all of them,” Milly said. “There are enough things to attract a lot of attention now, and we will continue to monitor.” Russia and Ukraine have a shared history of hundreds of years. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, they were the two largest republics in the Soviet Union. Therefore, Moscow added its neighbors to NATO. His ambition is seen as an insult and threat.

Since the beginning of the recent crisis, Moscow has asked the West to provide legally binding security guarantees and promised that NATO will not accept Ukraine as a member, nor will it deploy missile systems there to target Russia.

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Brinken warned Moscow on Thursday that it would pay a “huge price” if it invaded Ukraine, and urged the Russian Secretary of State to seek diplomatic channels to get out of the crisis.

Millay refused to speculate on whether Russian President Vladimir Putin would be bold about the withdrawal of US President Joe Biden’s troops from Afghanistan, saying, “You have to ask Putin.” The August withdrawal ended the two-year-long American troop with a clear failure. War, the Taliban regained power.

Milli said: “I think it is wrong for any country to draw broad strategic conclusions based on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and then automatically apply this incident to other situations.”

He cites historical examples in which the President of the United States withdrew troops in some places but ordered military actions in other places. “Therefore, the United States is sometimes a country that is difficult for other countries to understand,” he said.

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