Moscow ‘openly’ threatening Ukraine with war, destruction, says Kiev

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Ukraine’s foreign minister said on Thursday that Russia was flagrantly threatening Ukraine with destruction, as Western countries raise the alarm over an escalation of the separatist conflict.

Foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said during a press conference that Russian pundits and officials are “openly threatening Ukraine with war and the destruction of Ukrainian statehood.”

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“We condemn Russia’s aggravation of the security situation, Moscow’s actions and statements aimed at escalating military tensions and undermining diplomatic efforts to resolve the Russian-Ukrainian conflict,” Kuleba said.

“The red line of Ukraine is the state border. If Russia crosses the red line, then it will have to suffer,” he added.

Kiev has been fighting pro-Russian separatists in two breakaway regions in the east of the country since 2014 when Moscow annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine.

Ukraine this week accused Russia of massing thousands of military personnel on its northern and eastern borders and a recent increase in fighting has upended a ceasefire agreement last year that had brought relative calm to the conflict.

Ukraine and its Western allies accuse Russia of sending troops and arms to prop up the separatists -- claims that Moscow denies.

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