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U.S. Defense Secretary: Russia Building Up Forces On Ukraine Border

Russian President Vladimir Putin (enter), Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (left), and the head of the Russian Army's main department of combat preparation, Ivan Buvaltsev, watch military exercises in the Leningrad region earlier this month.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel says Russia has moved forces closer to the border with Ukraine in recent days, despite assurances it would not invade.

At a meeting with British counterpart Phillip Hammond on March 26, Hagel said, "They [the Russians] continue to build up their forces."

Hagel said he had received guarantees from Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu last week that Russia would not invade Ukraine.

Hammond said that "other Russian players, including Minister Shoigu, may express their views, but it's a moot point."

Hammond added, "All evidence suggests that the Russian agenda is being very much run by President [Vladimir] Putin personally."
Based on reporting by AFP and dpa