World

NATO commander says Russia still braced for incursion into Ukraine

  • U.S. European Command Commander, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Philip M. Breedlove speaks during a news conference in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

    U.S. European Command Commander, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Philip M. Breedlove speaks during a news conference in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)  (The Associated Press)

  • Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, left, greets U.S. European Command Commander, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Philip M. Breedlove in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Mykola Lazarenko, Pool)

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, left, greets U.S. European Command Commander, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Philip M. Breedlove in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Mykola Lazarenko, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S. European Command Commander, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Philip M. Breedlove speaks during a news conference in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

    U.S. European Command Commander, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Philip M. Breedlove speaks during a news conference in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)  (The Associated Press)

NATO's top commander says Russia still has enough troops stationed on Ukraine's border to mount a major incursion, and that it is using its military might to affect political developments inside Ukraine.

U.S. Gen. Philip Breedlove said Tuesday that a large number of Russian troops are also active inside Ukraine, training and advising separatist rebels.

Moscow has routinely denied it played any direct role in the conflict in Ukraine, which has claimed more than 4,000 lives.

Ukraine has received multiple pledges of military support from Western nations, although the United States has so far stopped short of promising to provide any lethal equipment.

Breedlove said the focus of foreign assistance would be on helping increase the capability of Ukraine's armed forces through interaction with U.S. and European command.