Russia moving forces to Ukraine border, says UK military intelligence

The Chief of Defence Intelligence said armoured vehicles and helicopters have been spotted heading for the border zone.

16 February 2022

Russia is continuing to move forces towards the border with Ukraine despite claims by Moscow that it is pulling back, Britain’s head of military intelligence has warned.

Lieutenant General Sir Jim Hockenhull, the Chief of Defence Intelligence, said there have been sightings of additional armoured vehicles, helicopters and a field hospital heading to the border zone.

His stark warning came after Nato defence ministers meeting in Brussels said they had seen no evidence to support Russia’s claims it had begun withdrawing troops to their bases.

In a statement issued by the Ministry of Defence, Gen Hockenhull said: “Contrary to their claims, Russia continues to build up military capabilities near Ukraine.

“This includes sightings of additional armoured vehicles, helicopters and a field hospital moving towards Ukraine’s borders. Russia has the military mass in place to conduct an invasion of Ukraine.”

Earlier, alliance defence ministers said they remained “gravely concerned” by the Russian military build-up and again urged the Kremlin to revert to the “path of diplomacy” in line with its international commitments.

Secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said Nato was considering establishing new battlegroups in central, eastern and south-eastern Europe to counter the threat from Moscow, which he described as “the new normal”.

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