Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has accused some US private military companies of stationing troops in the eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region and are preparing for “a challenge using unknown chemical components.”

Shoigu’s remarks came during a Moscow Defense Ministry meeting amid growing fears that Russia could launch an invasion of Ukraine.

The accusations made by the Russian Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu

“We have identified the presence of more than 120 members of American mercenary groups in the cities of Avdiivka and Krasny Liman to challenge… Tanks full of unidentified chemical components have been delivered to the cities of Avdeevka and Krasny Liman to challenge,” said Sergei Shoigu for the TASS news agency.

The minister, who is an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, also spoke of the US blame for rising tensions near the Russian border.

“The United States is consolidating its military presence on Russia’s borders. In Eastern European countries, US units with a total of about 8,000 troops are being deployed on a rotating basis, “he said.

Sergei Shoigu continued to boast of Russia’s improved army, saying it was a “world leader” in modernity.

At Tuesday’s meeting, President Vladimir Putin warned of a “military-technical” response to what Russia perceives as threatening movements in the West.

President Vladimir Putin’s warning

“If we maintain the very aggressive line of our Western colleagues, we will take appropriate military and technical retaliatory measures. “Strengthening US and NATO military formations on Russian borders, as well as organizing large-scale military maneuvers, is a serious source of concern,” Vladimir Putin said.

It is estimated that about 100,000 Russian soldiers are stationed on the border with Ukraine. Russia has repeatedly denied preparing for an invasion of Ukraine, saying it has the right to move troops within its borders.

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