Russian tensions with US could bring on terrifying nuclear WW3, Moscow warns
Russian forces appear to be gathering near the country's border with Ukraine, raising fresh fears of war.
As the US closely monitors unrest between the bordering nations, Russia's deputy foreign minister has warned of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis repeating itself with a terrifying nuclear war a distinct possibility.
Sergei Ryabkov said: "If things continue as they are, it is entirely possible by the logic of events to suddenly wake up and see yourself in something similar."
Satellite images have picked up what looks like army tanks and a Buk anti-aircraft missile system in the Voronezh region, at the same time as naval tension in the Black Sea.
Space firm Maxar Technologies has also released images of supposed columns of Russian forces stationed in the Smolensk district, less than 200 miles away from the Ukrainian border.
Intelligence reports have revealed that at least 90,000 Russian soldiers, along with heavy artillery and tanks, are now in place on the Russian side or the border.
This could rise to as many as 175,000 personnel by early next year, the Mirror reports.
Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the new chief of the defence staff for the British Armed Forces, said a war between Russia and Ukraine could be the biggest battle in Europe for more than 75 years since World War Two
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Ryabkov compared the current situation to heightened tension between the Soviet Union and the US when the latter blocked the former shipping nuclear missiles to Cuba in 1962, MailOnline reports.
A resolution was only met when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev agreed to dismantle and remove the nuclear weapons, and President John F. Kennedy pledged America would not invade the Caribbean island.
The build-up comes as Vladimir Putin hit out at a journalist for a “provocative question” when asked if he intended to invade Ukraine, but in his answer the Russian leader did not rule out doing so.
"Russia is pursuing a peaceful foreign policy, but it has the right to ensure its security," he said, following his video summit with Joe Biden.
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He claimed he would be guilty of “criminal inaction” if he was to “watch impotently” a trend which has seen NATO deploy strike weaponry in Poland and Romania, with Moscow now concerned that the same could happen in Ukraine.
Russia has repeatedly claimed that moving troops and military hardware within its borders does not constitute intent to invade, as the West has alleged.
In a video recording he said: "We are concerned over the prospects of Ukraine’s possible accession to NATO, as it will definitely result in the deployment of military contingents, bases and weapons posing a threat to us."
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A video shows him saying: “We now witness (Western) missile defence systems in Poland and Romania.
"We have every reason to believe that the same will happen if Ukraine joins NATO but this time on Ukrainian soil. How can we not think about that?
“It would be criminal inaction on our part to watch impotently what happens there."
UK defence sources have told the Daily Mail that Russia’s plan would probably be to occupy eastern Ukraine in 2022 and form a pro-Russia state.
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