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Pentagon downplays talk of Russian troop buildup near Ukraine

The Pentagon moved to tamp down talk of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, saying extra troops along the border were associated with a regular military exercise

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The Pentagon on Friday moved to tamp down talk of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, saying extra troops along the border were associated with a regular military exercise, AFP announced.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday said he could not rule out a “full-scale” Russian invasion.

His warning came amid increasing violence in the pro-Moscow separatist east and accusations that Russia is increasing its forces, replenishing munitions and building up military hardware in the region.

Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said the United States was concerned by the increasingly strident rhetoric from both Ukraine and Russia.

“We are concerned about Russia’s continued occupation of Crimea, and we are concerned about the heightened level of violence in eastern Ukraine,” he said.