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The Armed Forces of Ukraine are conducting large-scale exercises near the territory of Crimea, the press service of the Joint Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reports on Facebook.
According to the scenario of the exercises, a mock enemy tank unit, supported by infantry, tried to break through the Ukrainian defense line.
Artillery and tank reserves carrying out combat missions along the border with the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, at the signal, advanced to certain areas to counter the offensive of the conventional enemy.
“According to the scenario, the tank unit with the support of infantry tried to break through the line of our defense. – During the reconnaissance, the main fire forces of the enemy were identified. In order to counter, a tank reserve and anti-tank artillery were brought into the battle,” – said the commander of the Joint Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lieutenant General Serhiy Nayev.
According to the commander, the anti-tank battery of 100-millimeter MT-12 Rapira guns quickly took up firing positions and began destroying targets.
Western states have recently expressed concern over the alleged intensification of “aggressive actions” by Russia in Ukraine. The Kremlin said that Russia is moving troops within its territory and at its discretion.
Moscow has repeatedly stated that it is not a party to the internal Ukrainian conflict and is interested in Kiev overcoming the political and economic crisis.
Separately, United States President Joe Biden had a phone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on April 13th.
“They discussed a number of regional and global issues, including the intent of the United States and Russia to pursue a strategic stability dialogue on a range of arms control and emerging security issues, building on the extension of the New START Treaty,” according to the White House press service.
Biden also made clear that the United States “will act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to Russia’s actions, such as cyber intrusions and election interference.”
Separately, Biden “emphasized the United States’ unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“The President voiced our concerns over the sudden Russian military build-up in occupied Crimea and on Ukraine’s borders, and called on Russia to de-escalate tensions,” the press service wrote.
Also, the US president proposed “a summit meeting in a third country in the coming months to discuss the full range of issues facing the United States and Russia.”
On its part, the Kremlin released the following recollection of the discussion:
“Both presidents expressed their willingness to continue the dialogue on the critical areas of ensuring global security, which would meet the interests not only of Russia and the United States, but the entire international community. In addition, Joseph Biden expressed interest in normalising the state of affairs on the bilateral track and establishing stable and predictable interaction on pressing matters such as ensuring strategic stability and arms control, Iran’s nuclear programme, the situation in Afghanistan, and global climate change.
In this context, the US President suggested considering the possibility of holding a personal summit meeting in the foreseeable future.
When exchanging views on the internal Ukrainian crisis, Vladimir Putin outlined approaches to a political settlement based on the Minsk Package of Measures.”
As such, the possibility for escalation in Eastern Ukraine has likely subsided, but it is not entirely gone, as it evidently comes down to Kiev’s future actions.
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