Evgeny Buzhinsky warned that NATO’s involvement in Ukraine could lead to a situation where Russian and American forces could be forced to fight leading to a “global catastrophe. Ukraine, which is seeking NATO membership, reported Russian forces have moved near its border shared with Crimea which Russia annexed in 2014 and is concerned over future conflict. But Mr Buzhinsky added it was simply a military exercise that echoed a similar drill last year.
Appearing on Radio 4, the retired Russian general discussed the issues in Ukraine and the Russian mobilisation of troops in Crimea.
He was asked what would it take for Russia to deescalate the situation.
He replied: “First of all, the concentration of Russian troops, on April 1 the so-called winter training period is over so the whole of April there will be intensified checks of combat readiness exercises of units, troops in all military districts.
“By the way, last summer there was a similar period of checking of Russian troops in southern and western military districts just bordering Ukraine.
“The concentration of Russian troops was 150,000 Troops, more than 500 aircraft and helicopters, 20,000 pieces of equipment and nobody cared.
“And the reason was very obvious because nobody instigated Ukrainian leadership to liberate the so-called occupied territories.
“Now the situation is different and I must say that it’s very threatening.
“Because if Ukraine decides to move and to the stage provocations, especially in Crimea, I must say, Russia will respond and that would be the situation.”