Kyiv, 12 March 2014 – ‘Ukraine today is facing the threat of a full-scale invasion from various directions’, said Andriy Parubiy, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, during a press briefing at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
According to Mr. Parubiy, large groups of armed forces of the Russian Federation are located at the Ukrainian border. The groups comprise over 80,000 men, up to 270 tanks, up to 370 artillery systems, up to 140 combat aircrafts, up to 40 helicopters and up to 19 combat ships and boats.
Andriy Parubiy stressed that Russian troops are based in the immediate vicinity of the Ukrainian border, some of them within only 2-3 hours’ drive from Kyiv.
Parubiy added that this information has been known to the Ukrainian side for a while now. Previously, the Russian government said this had been a scheduled training and that the troops were to be withdrawn within 5 days. ‘They are, however, doing the exact opposite of that, and are only boosting their potential’, said Parubiy.
According to him, a scenario was being planned in the southeastern regions of Ukraine, similar to that in Crimea: seizure of administrative buildings followed by demands of a referendum. However, over the last days, thanks to the well-coordinated actions of the law enforcement authorities and local government, these plans have been ruined. Parubiy said that sabotage groups have already been partially arrested by the law enforcement agencies. similar groups, often armed, have been arrested in the Donetsk, Lugansk and Kherson regions.
Parubiy added that the Internal Troops of Ukraine and special forces have already taken control of regional administrations and are now ensuring public order in the south and east of Ukraine. Special operations “Kordon” (Border), “Rezhym” (Regime) and “Rubizh” (Frontier) have been carried out to deny entry to Ukraine to 3700 citizens of the Russian Federation who are reasonably suspected of being involved in extremism and sabotage. Those included Russian propagandists, as well as representatives of the most elite units of Russian army arriving with the purpose of sabotage. ‘We have managed to successfully neutralize their efforts to destabilize the situation’, said Parubiy.
According to the Secretary of the Security Council, 399 refugees from Crimea have already been registered to date. ‘These people feel threat to their lives… They are moving to a safe territory where we ensure the protection of their constitutional rights’, he said.