Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Thursday there were 9,000 Russian servicemen on Ukrainian territory and warned of the threat of a “full-scale invasion” by Russia along the whole joint border.
He was speaking in parliament a day after Ukrainian forces fought their most serious battle for months with Russian-backed separatists in the east of the country, endangering an already shaky ceasefire.
“The military must be ready as much for a renewal of an offensive by the enemy in the Donbass as they are for a full-scale invasion along the whole length of the border with Russia. We must be truly ready for this,” he said.
Poroshenko’s warning came as fresh clashes erupted near the rebel stronghold of Donetsk on Wednesday, reviving fears in Kiev that the separatists may be gearing up for a new push into government-controlled territory, four months after agreeing to a truce.