The Ukrainian army can "thwart any aggressive plans of the enemy," said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a statement on the occasion of the Day of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
"The Ukrainian army during its recent history has passed a difficult path to the formation of a capable and highly organized combat structure, confident in its abilities and capable of thwarting any aggressive plans of the enemy," Zelensky said.
The Ukrainian President also thanked the servicemen for their service, perseverance and heroism in protecting the territorial integrity of the country. "I am convinced that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will continue to reliably protect the freedom and independence of our state," the Ukrainian President added.
Earlier, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba also spoke about the readiness of the Ukrainian army to "respond to the attack" in the event of a Russian invasion. The Ukrainian minister called for "prompt action" to contain Moscow. "If Russia decides to conduct a military operation, everything will happen literally in the blink of an eyes," the Ukrainian Foreign Minister said.
Earlier, the Western media published reports about the build-up of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine. The Associated Press, citing US intelligence data, said that the "invasion" could take place in early 2022.
The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, warned Moscow that in the event of an attack on Ukraine, the United States will use sanctions mechanisms that they have not used before. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also said that the foreign ministers of the alliance countries discussed possible economic sanctions and political measures against Russia in the event of "aggression against Ukraine."
Russia has repeatedly denied the Western accusations. Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev pointed out that such rhetoric has no basis, and Russia "has never shown hostility towards any country, and even more so towards Ukraine." Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in turn, pointed out to the deployment of NATO forces and weapons to the Russian borders, noting that the West pushes Ukraine to anti-Russian actions.