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Russia building up troops on Ukraine border: US

British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond (R) listens while US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks during a press conference at the Pentagon on March 26, 2014 in WashingtonRussia has moved more troops closer to Ukraine’s borders in recent days despite assurances it will not invade, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Wednesday. Although Russia’s defense minister Sergei Shoigu had told Hagel last week that Moscow would not send troops into eastern Ukraine, “the reality is that they continue to build up their forces,” Hagel said. “So they need to make sure they stay committed to what Minister Shoigu told me,” the Pentagon chief said at a joint news conference after meeting his British counterpart, Philip Hammond. And in another worrying sign, the British minister said it was unclear whether the Russian defense minister carries real influence over decision-making in Moscow, given President Vladimir Putin’s dominant role.

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