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Pentagon sees no signs of Russia military drills despite buildup

Published on Mar 28, 2014 4:55 AM

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The United States sees no indications that Russian forces along the border with Ukraine are carrying out the kind of springtime military exercises that Moscow has cited as the reason for their deployment, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

Ukraine's government has put its heavily outnumbered and outgunned forces on alert for an invasion from Russia in the east following Moscow's seizure of Crimea, as the West moves to isolate Russia diplomatically and pressure it economically.

US and European security agencies estimate Russia has deployed military and militia units totaling more than 30,000 people along its border with eastern Ukraine.

Although the Pentagon has cited assurances from Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu that its troops along the border were sent for exercises and that they would not cross into Ukraine, US officials have acknowledged concerns about continued Russian reinforcements to the area.

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