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NATO satellite photos show Russian military buildup near Ukraine

By Adrian Croft MONS, Belgium (Reuters) - NATO unveiled satellite photographs on Thursday it said showed Russian deployments of some 40,000 troops near the Ukrainian frontier, along with long lines of tanks, armored vehicles, artillery and aircraft ready for action. "This is a force that is very capable, at high readiness, and, as we have illustrated through the imagery, is close to routes and lines of communication," British Brigadier Gary Deakin said at a briefing at NATO military headquarters at Mons in southern Belgium.

One dead as gunmen attack NATO trucks in Pakistan

Gunmen in restive northwest Pakistan Thursday attacked container trucks carrying supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan, killing a driver, officials said. The attack took place around 25 kilometres (15 miles) west of Peshawar -- the main city of the northwest -- as a convoy of seven oil tankers was on its way to Afghanistan, according to security officials. Ali Sher, a local administration official, confirmed the incident.

NATO 'totally' denies deploying troops near Russia border

NATO denied Russian claims Wednesday that it was planning to deploy massive numbers of troops near the country's border. "I totally dismiss claim by dep defense minister Antonov that NATO plans to deploy large military contingents close to Russia's borders," said NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexandre Vershbow on twitter. His tweet was in response to comments by Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov at a news conference earlier in Moscow.

NATO to triple Baltic air patrol from next month

By Adrian Croft BRUSSELS (Reuters) - NATO will triple its usual number of fighter jets patrolling over the Baltics next month to beef up its eastern European defenses due to tension with Russia over Ukraine, a NATO military official said on Tuesday. Four NATO fighters are usually based in the Baltics but the United States, which currently has responsibility for patrolling the skies there, increased that to 10 F-15s to reassure those states following Russia's occupation of Ukraine's Crimea region.

Ukraine counts on NATO allies for help with non-lethal equipment

By Adrian Croft BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Ukraine, locked in confrontation with Russia, is counting on the United States and other NATO members to supply equipment ranging from uniforms to aircraft fuel but is not asking for weapons, its ambassador to NATO said on Tuesday. NATO officials say Russia has amassed around 40,000 troops near Ukraine's border and unrest in eastern Ukraine has led to fears that Russian forces could intervene there as they did in Crimea.

No significant change in Russian troop positions near Ukraine: NATO

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - NATO does not see significant changes in the positioning of Russian troops close to Ukraine's eastern border, a NATO military official said on Monday, after pro-Russian protesters seized public buildings in three cities in eastern Ukraine. "We do not see significant changes to Russian troop dispositions east of the Ukrainian border," the NATO military official said, when asked if the Western alliance had detected any movement by Russian forces near the Ukrainian border.

Poland's PM says NATO to boost military presence within weeks

WARSAW (Reuters) - NATO will strengthen its presence in Poland within weeks, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Saturday, a move that could help allay fears in eastern European states for their security after Russia's seizure of Ukraine's Crimea region. Tusk spoke three days after foreign ministers from the U.S.-led alliance ordered military commanders to devise plans for reinforcing NATO defenses among its eastern European members, including Poland, a neighbor of Ukraine.

NATO reopens Kosovo airspace for civilian overflights

NATO said Friday it has reopened the upper airspace over Kosovo for civilian traffic 15 years after the war, enabling commercial flights to take more direct routes across the Balkans. "The reopening of the airspace will lead to shorter flight routes in the region, generating significant cost savings for airspace users and environmental benefits," said a statement from the NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, KFOR.

NATO hits out at Russian 'propaganda'

NATO hit back on Thursday at accusations by Moscow that the Western alliance was in violation of international law and accused Russia of fomenting "propaganda and disinformation" over the crisis in Ukraine. "No, of course we haven't violated the Rome Declaration and I'm actually surprised that Russia can claim that NATO has violated its commitments because Russia is violating every principle and international commitment it has made," NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.

Russia says wants answers on NATO troops in eastern Europe

By Thomas Grove MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said on Thursday it wanted answers from NATO on its activities in eastern Europe after the Western military alliance promised to beef up defenses for its eastern members. Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region last month has caused the deepest crisis in East-West relations since the Cold War, leading the West to impose sanctions and sparking fear President Vladimir Putin has territorial designs beyond the Black Sea peninsula with its Russian-majority population.
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