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Kyiv: Ukraine's Defense Minister estimated Friday that Russia has amassed more than 94,000 troops near their borders and said there is a probability of a “large-scale escalation” in late January.

Ukrainian and Western officials recently voiced alarm about a Russian troop buildup near Ukraine, saying they feared it could herald an invasion. Moscow has denied planning to invade and accused Ukraine and its Western backers of fabricating claims to cover up their own allegedly aggressive designs.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov told lawmakers Friday that the number of Russian troops near Ukraine and in Russia-annexed Crimea is estimated to be 94,300.  “Our intelligence service analyzes all scenarios, including the worst ones. It notes that a probability of a large-scale escalation on the part of Russia exists. The most probable time when (Russia) will be ready for the escalation is end of January,” Reznikov said. The minister noted an escalation “is a probable scenario, but not certain, and our task is to avert it."  




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