NATO says Russia adding troops to Ukraine border, after Moscow claimed military units leaving

NATO's statement follows President Biden's similar statement day earlier

Updated: February 16, 2022 - 10:01am

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NATO on Wednesday accused Russia of increasing troop numbers along the Ukrainian border, a day after the Kremlin said it had concluded military exercise there and was returning units to their original posts.

The announcement by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is dashing optimism that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not invade Ukraine over the neighboring country’s interest in joining the Western-led NATO alliance. 

"So far, we have not seen any de-escalation on the ground, said NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg, according to CNBC. "On the contrary it appears that Russia continues their military buildup."

The Russian government released video footage Wednesday that it claimed shows the military units returning to their permanent deployments after completing exercises. However, CNBC and other news outlets have not been able to verify its authenticity.

NATO defense ministers call the situation "the most serious security crisis we have faced in Europe for decades."

President Biden said Tuesday that Washington had not yet confirmed that Russia had withdrawn any of its military units from the Ukrainian border.

"Our analysts indicate that they remain very much in a threatening position," he said in a speech at the White House.