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Military: Russia keeps 19,000 troops on Ukraine’s northern border

Approximately 19,000 Russian troops are stationed along the Russian side of the borders with Ukraine’s Sumy and Chernihiv oblasts.
Ukrainian border guards
Ukrainian border guards during a combat mission to eliminate a Russian sabotage and reconnaissance group. Credit: Volodymyr Potapenko

In a recent national telethon on 8 January, the spokesperson for Ukraine’s Northern Direction Defense Forces, Yurii Povkh, reported on the current military situation along Ukraine’s northern borders with Russia.

According to Povkh, approximately 19,000 Russian troops are stationed across the borders of the Sumy and Chernihiv oblasts. This number has remained constant over several months, indicating no signs of the formation of Russian strike forces in the area.

Povkh emphasized that the current Russian military presence could be characterized as border-covering troops, not a striking force capable of breaking through the combat formations of Ukrainian forces.

“This is not a sign of the creation of strike forces,” Povkh stated, as quoted by Ukrinform. He clarified that the Russian forces in this direction primarily use artillery, 120-mm mortars, and FPV drones and occasionally deploy aviation for what he described as predominantly harassing fire.

The spokesperson also highlighted the vigilance of Ukraine’s Defense Forces stationed along the border line, who diligently prevent attempts by enemy sabotage and reconnaissance groups to cross. He assured that control over the state border is constant, reinforcing the ongoing efforts to maintain national security and territorial integrity in the face of the Russian military presence.

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