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Tanks, artillery, IFVs, sniper duos: invaders strengthening positions near contact line.

The command of the Russian occupation forces is increasing the number of heavy weaponry and sniper duos near the line of contact, as well as holding drills to train mercenaries.

This was reported by the press service of the Ministry of Defense with reference to the information available to the Main Intelligence Directorate, Ukrinform reports.

"The Russian Federation is pursuing its efforts to prevent stabilization in the Joint Forces Operation zone. To this end, the command of the Russian occupation forces’ operational group is reinforcing units near the line of contact in certain areas with more 122-mm self-propelled artillery, tanks, and infantry fighting vehicles in violation of agreements on heavy weaponry pullback," the statement said.

Read also: Biden speaks with five European leaders ahead of Putin call

It is also noted that along the front line, the enemy has increased the number of sniper duos in combat readiness to inflict losses on JF servicemen, destroy video surveillance elements, and provoke retaliatory fire. Snipers of formations and units of the 1st (Donetsk) and 2nd (Luhansk) Army Corps, who are not involved in combat missions, are undergoing training under the supervision of Russian military.

As Ukrinform reported earlier, the Washington Post reported, citing a U.S. intelligence document, that satellite imagery showed 70,000 Russian troops amassed in three locations near Ukraine's border and in the occupied Crimea. A total of 50 combat tactical groups, as well as tanks and artillery, have been deployed to these areas.

Last Friday, U.S. President Joe Biden said his administration was preparing a series of initiatives aimed at deterring Russian aggression.

On December 5, Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov, speaking on Estonian television, said that the number of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border would further increase up to 175,000.

Read also: Zelensky, Blinken coordinate positions ahead of Biden-Putin call

Earlier, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States had made it clear to the Kremlin that it will respond decisively, including through a range of "high impact" economic measures not applied previously if Moscow invades Ukraine.

He stopped short of specifying the exact sanctions in question, but one of them could be disconnecting Russia from the SWIFT international payment system.

In April, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling for Russia to be excluded from SWIFT if its troops invaded Ukraine.

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