NATO troops in Europe have raised the level of combat readiness due to Russia's actions in the Donbas
US European Command has raised its combat readiness to its highest level following renewed fighting between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian soldiers in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, marking the end of the June 2020 ceasefire. Russian forces have begun to build up military equipment along the border. Writes about it Political.
Due to the aggravation of the situation, NATO aircraft flew 29 times only on March 10 in response to an unusually large number of flights of Russian fighters and bombers near Allied airspace. In addition, three Russian nuclear-armed submarines recently broke through several feet of ice in the Arctic in a new show of power in the region.
General Glen Van Herck, head of the US Northern Command, in charge of the country's defense, acknowledged the recent surge in Russian aggression, calling it Moscow's efforts to "restore its influence on the world stage."
In particular, Russian air interceptions are more "complex" today than before, Van Herck said, noting that operations often involve multiple hotspots and more than one aircraft that remain in the region longer.
Captain Wendy Snyder, a spokesman for the European Command, declined to discuss command alert levels, citing operational security, but noted that "we are monitoring the situation very closely."
Pentagon leaders express their concern to NATO allies about the resumption of hostilities in Eastern Europe, which killed four Ukrainian soldiers and injured two more on March 26, as well as a buildup of Russian troops, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Wednesday, March 31.
“We definitely don't want to see any more violations on Ukrainian territory,” Kirby said. "We are very clear about the threats coming from Russia and we take them very seriously."
Kirby said he was unaware of interactions between Russian and American forces in Eastern Europe.
General Mark Milli, chairman of the Joint Committee, discussed the current security situation by telephone with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts, according to his office.
Also on Wednesday, March 31, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that he had discussed "ways to strengthen cooperation in the field of security" with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
“I had a productive and focused conversation with Blinken as Russia continues to systematically worsen the security situation in eastern Ukraine and Crimea,” Kuleba wrote.
Trouble for Biden
The recent increase in activity presents another foreign policy challenge for the new administration of US President Joe Biden. True, he has pledged to take a tougher stance on Russia than his predecessor Donald Trump, whose relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin has led to accusations that he was soft on Moscow.
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Biden has already outlined his tougher stance by describing Putin as a "killer." He promised to hold Russia accountable for recent hacks, including a cyberattack that compromised the software of the Texas-based company Solarwinds Corp., which affected at least 100 US companies and nine federal agencies.
The US President recently approved additional $ 125 million in aid to Ukraine to protect its borders with Russia, including two armed patrol boats and a counter-artillery radar. Since 2014, the States have allocated more than $ 2 billion in assistance to Ukraine to ensure its security, in particular the supply of Javelin anti-tank missiles.
Biden has long supported Ukraine, especially after Russia's 2014 invasion of Crimea. Then the vice president and chief emissary of the Obama administration in Kiev, Biden visited the country six times and spoke for hours on the phone with its leaders.
At the time, he led programs to send US troops to train Ukrainian soldiers in warfare and advise senior officials on rooting out corruption.
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