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NATO Alert as Russia Moves Weapons into Ukraine

11-13-2014
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Russia is moving tanks, artillery, and troops into Ukraine, raising concerns that it's preparing to make move against the Eastern European nation.

"We see forces that are capable of being nuclear that are being moved to Crimea," U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, commander of NATO forces in Europe, said.

"Whether they are or not we do not know," he continued. "But they do have that kind of equipment there that could support that mission if required."

The U.N. Security Council called an emergency meeting on Wednesday to address the situation.

"We are deeply concerned over the possibility of a return to full-scale fighting. Alternatively, the conflict may simmer in this way for months, with sporadic low-level battles, marked by periods of increased hostilities and further casualties," U.N. Assistant Secretary-General Jens Toyberg-Frandzen said.

Russia denies it's preparing for renewed military action, saying "volunteers" are simply crossing into Ukraine to support pro-Russian separatists.

Breedlove estimates that between 250 to 300 Russian personnel are currently inside Ukraine.

"My biggest concern right now is that this force, this capability that is being moved into eastern Ukraine will be used to more consolidate the edges of this area in order to make it a more contiguous, more easy to control and employ region," Breedlove said.

Meanwhile, in a show of force against the West, Moscow announced it will re-start long-range bomber patrols from the Arctic Ocean to the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.

Military analysts say the extended Russian bomber patrols are just another way of displaying the power of the Russian military.

In September, Russian strategic bombers near Canada practiced cruise missile strikes on the United States. And in May, Russian planes flew within 50 miles of the coast of California.

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