Up to 40,000 Russian servicemen have been deployed near the Ukrainian border, Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Secretary Andriy Parubiy said.
"Claims that Russian troops have been pulled back from the border are not true," he told a Friday press briefing in Kiev.
"The troops were not pulled back, they were rotated," the secretary emphasized.
Moscow is perplexed by allegations that Russia has amassed forces along its border with Ukraine because Russian President Vladimir Putin issued an instruction to step up security on the border several weeks ago, Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on June 20.
"We are surprised by such statements about Russian troops allegedly amassed on the border with Ukraine. In this case, any build-up of troops is out of the question. Rather, these are measures to enhance security along the borders of the Russian Federation, measures that are being taken on the direct orders from President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin," Peskov said.
This instruction was not issued several days ago, he said.
"It was issued several weeks ago, which was announced earlier and, by the way, received a positive response from European leaders then," the press secretary said.
These measures are being taken in response to "the growing number of border trespassing incidents, including by military hardware," he said.
"As for the number of Armed Forces soldiers, it is determined based on the current needs in order to ensure the required level of security along the border," Peskov said.
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