Russia Could Invade Ukraine, According to NATO
Ukraine crisis: Russia could be poised to invade, NATO says
Source: CBC News: "Russia has massed around 20,000 combat-ready troops on Ukraine's border and could use the pretext of a humanitarian mission to invade, NATO said on Wednesday, its starkest warning yet that Moscow could soon mount a ground assault against its neighbour.
With fighting escalating and rebels losing ground in the weeks since a Malaysian airliner was shot down over separatist-held territory, Russia has announced military exercises this week in the border region.
"We're not going to guess what's on Russia's mind, but we can see what Russia is doing on the ground — and that is of great concern. Russia has amassed around 20,000 combat-ready troops on Ukraine's eastern border," NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said in an emailed statement.
Moscow annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in the Black Sea in March, and Western countries say it funded and armed pro-Russian rebels that rose up in the east of Ukraine in April.
Since June, government troops have gained ground against the rebels, who are led almost exclusively by Russian citizens and have managed to acquire tanks, missiles and other heavy weaponry that Kyiv and its Western allies say can only have come from across the frontier.
Kyiv said 18 Ukrainian servicemen had been killed and 54 injured in 25 separate clashes over the past day in eastern Ukraine. Military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said troops had been shelled from inside Russian territory and frontier guards had come under a four-hour mortar and artillery attack."