The developments come as Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused the U.S. of “building up tension” within the eastern European country, adding that “we are observing these actions of the United States with profound concern.”
Russia recently has amassed more than 125,000 troops along Ukraine’s border – but Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy argued late Monday that the situation was “under control” and said there is “no reason to panic.”
Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said that, as of Monday, Russia’s armed forces had not formed what he called battle groups, “which would have indicated that tomorrow they would launch an offensive.”
“There are risky scenarios. They’re possible and probable in the future,” Reznikov told Ukraine’s ICTV channel on Monday. “But as of today… such a threat doesn’t exist.”
Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, echoed that sentiment, saying that the movement of Russian troops near Ukraine’s border “is not news.”
“As of today, we don’t see any grounds for statements about a full-scale offensive on our country,” Danilov said Monday.
U.S. officials told Fox News over the weekend that a shipment of Javelin anti-tank missiles is expected to arrive in Ukraine Tuesday.
“We have a $ 200 million dollar package the president just approved right before Christmas that we are now fulfilling,” added Defense Department spokesperson John Kirby on Monday during an interview with “The Story” host Martha MacCallum.
“I think there has been at least two, maybe three deliveries already just in the last few days,” Kirby continued. “They will include additional javelin anti-tank missiles, they will include some air defense systems, they will include small arms and ammunition, certainly medical support, that kind of thing. There is a lot more coming.”
Russia has claimed Western accusations that it is planning an invasion are merely a cover for NATO’s own planned provocations.
“As for specific actions, we see statements by the North Atlantic Alliance about reinforcement, pulling forces and resources to the eastern flank. All this leads to the fact that tensions are growing,” Peskov said, according to Reuters.
In 2014, following the ouster of a Kremlin-friendly president in Ukraine, Moscow annexed the Crimean Peninsula and threw its weight behind a separatist insurgency in the country’s industrial heartland in the east. The fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed rebels has since killed over 14,000 people, and efforts to reach a peaceful settlement of the conflict have stalled.
In the latest standoff, Russia has demanded guarantees from the West that NATO would never allow Ukraine to join and that the alliance would curtail other actions, such as stationing troops in former Soviet bloc countries. Some of these, like any pledge to permanently bar Ukraine, are nonstarters for NATO — creating a seemingly intractable stalemate that many fear can only end in war.
Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson and the Associated Press contributed to this report.