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Russia denies deploying extra troops to Ukraine border

Russia on Wednesday (Aug 6) denied US and NATO claims that Moscow has sharply increased the number of troops along the border with Ukraine.

MOSCOW: Russia on Wednesday (Aug 6) denied US and NATO claims that Moscow has sharply increased the number of troops along the border with Ukraine.

"I would like to explain to Pentagon and NATO officials that movements of such forces of thousands of troops and equipment is not possible in such a short time, moreover without OSCE monitors stationed in the region noticing," Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenikov was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.

NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said earlier on Wednesday that Russia has increased its presence of troops on the Ukraine border to 20,000, from 12,000 in mid-July.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe has about about a dozen observers monitoring two Russian border posts, but does not monitor the entire border. It has a larger mission stationed inside Ukraine, where pro-Russian rebels are battling government forces.

The European Union and United States have accused Moscow of providing weapons and support to the rebels, a charge Moscow denies.

Konashenikov said the Russian defence ministry was considering opening social media accounts to provide the US intelligence community with "objective information about the actions of Russian military forces".

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