Tensions between Russia and Ukraine escalated further on Monday after the Russian army claimed that it killed at least five ‘saboteurs’ from Ukraine.
This latest claim by Russia has fuelled the tensions the Russia-Ukraine border.
“…five people who violated the Russian border from a group of saboteurs were killed,” the Russian military said in a statement.
The incident took place near the village of Mityakinskaya in the Rostov region of Russia at 06:00 am local time on Monday.
Moscow claimed to have destroyed two Ukrainian infantry fighting vehicles that allegedly crossed into Russian territory.
According to Russian media, the Ukrainian ‘sabotage’ group and APCs entered Russian territory near Luhansk.
Russia has also said that artillery shelling by Ukraine army has destroyed a Russian border facility.
However, this claim of the Russian army was rubbished by Ukraine.
Ukraine has denied any artillery shelling by its army targeting Russian border facility.
Meanwhile, United States has informed the United Nations that it has “credible information” of Russian forces possessing a list of Ukrainian citizens, who are to be killed or sent to detention camps, following a Russian invasion and occupation of the country.
“We also have credible information that Russian forces will likely use lethal measures to disperse peaceful protests or otherwise counter peaceful exercises of perceived resistance from civilian populations,” the letter read.
Earlier, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK) – Boris Johnson that said there are intelligence inputs that suggest Russia intends launching an invasion of Ukraine and encircle its capital Kyiv.
“People need to understand the sheer cost in human life that could entail,” UK PM Boris Johnson had said after the Munich Security Conference.
Notably, the West fears a possible invasion of Ukraine by Russia as the latter continues to build-up troops near the Ukraine border.
However, Russia time and again, has denied any plans to invade Ukraine, but wants sweeping security guarantees.
Western intelligence agencies claim that around 1.6 lakh Russian troops are ready to attack Ukraine and marching towards the border.
Meanwhile, the United States has warned that Russian invasion of Ukraine can happen any time now.
Moreover, Moscow has said that it was too early for a summit between the Russian and American presidents.
“It is premature to talk about any specific plans for organising any kind of summits,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
“There is an understanding that dialogue should be continued at the level of foreign ministers,” Peskov said.
Peskov said that fresh fighting between separatists and the Ukrainian army had made the situation on the ground “extremely tense”.
“We are talking about provocative and aggressive actions being carried out by the Ukrainian army that are endangering people’s lives,” Peskov said.
Meanwhile, Ukraine has urged the European Union (EU) to slap sanctions on Russia ‘now’ to prevent a war.
“The European Union must start imposing some sanctions on Russia now to show it is serious about wanting to prevent a war in Ukraine,” Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said.
A US official said that Russian front-line commanders have been given orders to begin final preparations for an attack.