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Zelensky says Russia rotates troops, doesn’t withdraw them

Ukrainian President said the government is fully aware about the country’s security risks

KIEV, February 16. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on Wednesday said Russia had a slight rotation of troops near the border with Ukraine but didn’t withdraw them.

"The situation on the border is under control. It hasn’t changed," he said on Ukraina-24 television during a visit to Mariupol, a city in the Donetsk region. "We are seeing a slight rotation of the Russian troops, but we aren’t seeing a withdrawal."

The president said Ukraine saw similar rotations during Russia’s military drills in 2021. He said the government is fully aware about the country’s security risks.

Zelensky earlier made a speech before troops in Mariupol, which was dedicated to the newly established Unity Day. He said Ukraine isn’t afraid of enemies and will defend itself if need be.

There has been a flurry of statements in the West and Kiev lately that Russia could invade Ukraine. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said they were unsubstantiated escalation and that Russia doesn’t threaten anyone. At the same time, he didn’t rule out provocations to corroborate these Western statements and warned that the use of force to resolve the crisis in southeastern Ukraine will have serious consequences.