EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Monday that Russia has massed over 150,000 troops along the Ukrainian border and in the annexed Crimea peninsula.
“It is the highest Russian military deployment at Ukrainian borders ever,” Borrell told journalists after talks involving Ukraine’s foreign minister, refusing to disclose the source of the figure.
Earlier on Monday, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said it had expelled a Russian diplomat in a tit-for-tat move after Moscow ordered a Ukrainian consul in Saint Petersburg to leave Russia, accusing him of trying to obtain sensitive information.
“Today the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry sent a note declaring persona non grata one of the advisers of the Russian embassy in Kyiv,” ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko told AFP.
“He must leave the territory of our state within 72 hours.”
In recent weeks Moscow has amassed tens of thousands of troops along Ukraine’s northern and eastern borders, as well as on the Crimean peninsula which Moscow annexed in 2014.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said the troops were merely responding to “threatening” actions by the NATO alliance and participating in military drills.
Ukraine, where a pro-Kremlin president was ousted in a popular uprising in 2014, has made clear its ambition to join NATO.
Thursday’s visit to Kyiv by senior diplomats from the Baltic states is the latest show of support from European countries and the United States, which has warned of “consequences” if Russia acts “aggressively” toward Ukraine.
HD Editors Note: Why is this News Biblically Relevant?
In Matthew 24, the disciples ask Jesus, “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and the end of the world?”
Jesus’s response is a detailed description of the condition of the world and what it will look like in the last days. Wars and rumours of wars, nation rising against nation, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, these being the beginning of sorrows. He depicts persecution and an abounding iniquity that would cause the love of many to wax cold and divisions that would cause loved ones to betray one another.
In Luke 21:24, Jesus says, “There will be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth Distress of Nations with Perplexity, the seas and the wave roaring.”
Just as the psalmist tells us to lift our eyes, so does Jesus instruct his believers in the face of the times we are living in “When these things begin to come to pass, look up and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28)