“Biden administration says military offensive would include an estimated 175,000 troops.”
Russia is preparing a military offensive against Ukraine, U.S. intelligence officials warn. “The new intelligence finding estimates that the Russians are planning to deploy an estimated 175,000 troops and almost half of them are already deployed along various points near Ukraine’s border,” the Associated Press reported Saturday.
The Russian military offensive against Ukraine could come as early as January, the Ukrainian government fears. “Our intelligence service analyzes all scenarios, including the worst ones. It notes that a probability of a large-scale escalation on the part of Russia exists. The most probable time when [Moscow] will be ready for the escalation is the end of January,” Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov informed the country’s parliament on Friday.
The military buildup comes as President Joe Biden is expected to hold a phone conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The Russian president wants Ukraine, a former soviet republic, not to come under NATO’s sphere of influence. Putin “demanded “legal guarantees” on Wednesday that the NATO alliance would never expand eastward,” The New York Times reported Wednesday.
Like most of the former Soviet bloc countries of Europe, Ukraine seeks closer ties with the NATO and the European Union in an effort to shield itself from any future Russian expansion.
The Associated Press reported the growing threat of Russian invasion of Ukraine:
President Joe Biden pledged Friday to make it “very, very difficult” for Russia’s Vladimir Putin to take military action in Ukraine as U.S. intelligence officials determined that Russian planning is underway for a possible military offensive that could begin as soon as early 2022.
The new intelligence finding estimates that the Russians are planning to deploy an estimated 175,000 troops and almost half of them are already deployed along various points near Ukraine’s border, according to a Biden administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the finding. (…)
The official added that the plans call for the movement of 100 battalion tactical groups along with armor, artillery and equipment.
Intelligence officials also have seen an uptick in Russian propaganda efforts through the use of proxies and media outlets to denigrate Ukraine and NATO ahead of a potential invasion, the official said.
Ukraine has good reasons to fear Russian military aggression. In early 2014, Russian troops invaded and subsequently annexed Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula home of the strategic naval port of Sevastopol.
Russia also holds sway over parts of eastern Ukraine controlled by the Moscow-backed Ukrainian separatist militia. Reports suggest that pro-Russian militia are also gearing up for combat. “Russian-controlled forces in eastern Ukraine are increasing combat readiness and have carried out large-scale exercises,” the Reuters reported last month, citing the Ukrainian defense ministry.
Ukraine is not the only former soviet republic to face Russia’s wrath for seeking close alliance with the West. In 2008, Russia went to war with Georgia, occupying large parts of the country and declaring two of its renegade provinces as ‘independent republics.’
Despite repeated assurances from the West, these ex-soviet republics are practically defenseless in face of overwhelming Russian military might. The NATO recognized Ukraine and Georgia as potential members of the defense bloc as early as 2008, but apparently no further measures have since been taken.
In recent months, Russia has encouraged the Moscow-backed Belarusian regime to undertake hostile actions against neighboring Poland and Lithuanian, both members of the EU and the NATO. thousands of immigrants, flown in by Belarus from Syria, Afghanistan, and other countries, have clashed with Polish and Lithuanian border guards.
Russia’s increasing belligerence comes with its growing military ties with China. Moscow has now forged a ‘de facto’ military alliance with the Communist giant, the newspaper South China Morning Post reported last month. China and Russia “signed a road map for closer military cooperation over the next five years,” the daily reported.
Secretary Blinken: Russia planning ‘significant aggressive moves against Ukraine’DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.