02:03 GMT20 September 2020
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    Russian Gen. Maj. Igor Konashenkov called US Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges' claim that Russia has 12,000 troops in Ukraine "a failed attempt to impress the women of the US State Department."

    Russian Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov has joined Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov in mocking US Army Europe Commander Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges for his claim of 12,000 Russian troops being stationed in Eastern Ukraine, and suggested an ironic motive.

    "The strength of 12,000 troops which he suggested is a serious army group with thousands of units of military equipment, you can't just cover that up with some snow on a tiny patch of 'isolated districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.'"

    Hodges' claim was a failed attempt to impress the women of the US State Department, Konashenkov believes.

    "For the spokeswomen of the State Department, distant from military realities, it's easy to later cite such 'authoritative' estimates: size matters a lot to them."

    On Tuesday, during a speech in Berlin, Lt. Gen Ben Hodges announced that he fears Putin will destroy NATO by splitting it from the inside, and that Russia has inserted 12,000 troops into the Donbas region, the biggest claim made by a US official yet.


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    Donbass, troops, border, Russian Defense Ministry, Ben Hodges, Igor Konashenkov, United States, Ukraine, Russia
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