Russia is reportedly preparing to launch a massive invasion into Ukraine in the immediate future with up to 175,000 troops, armor, and artillery as experts warn that Russia is seeking to take advantage of “weakness” from Democrat President Joe Biden.
“The Kremlin has been moving troops toward the border with Ukraine while demanding Washington guarantee that Ukraine will not join NATO and that the alliance will refrain from certain military activities in and around Ukrainian territory,” The Washington Post reported. “While Ukrainian assessments have said Russia has approximately 94,000 troops near the border, the U.S. map puts the number at 70,000 — but it predicts a buildup to as many as 175,000 and describes extensive movement of battalion tactical groups to and from the border ‘to obfuscate intentions and to create uncertainty.'”
The build-up by Russia comes as it demands that the U.S. guarantees that Ukraine will not join NATO and that NATO will not interfere in military activities around Ukraine.
“The Russian plans call for a military offensive against Ukraine as soon as early 2022 with a scale of forces twice what we saw this past spring during Russia’s snap exercise near Ukraine’s borders,” a U.S. official told The Post. “The plans involve extensive movement of 100 battalion tactical groups with an estimated 175,000 personnel, along with armor, artillery and equipment.”
The report said that based on Russia’s preparation, Russian President Vladimir Putin could quickly order an invasion, which might catch the U.S. and its NATO allies off guard. The report said that part of the way that Russia is enabling this quick invasion option is by leaving equipment behind near the areas where they would invade after they conduct training exercises in those areas.
“The Russian troops worked out the issues of creating strike groups near the borders of our state, mobilization measures, logistical support of groups, [and] transfer of significant military contingents, including by air,” the official said. “Additionally, in the past month, our information indicates Russian influence proxies and media outlets have started to increase content denigrating Ukraine and NATO, in part to pin the blame for a potential Russian military escalation on Ukraine. Recent information also indicates that Russian officials proposed adjusting Russia’s information operations against Ukraine to emphasize the narrative that Ukrainian leaders had been installed by the West, harbored a hatred for the ‘Russian world,’ and were acting against the interests of the Ukrainian people.”
Retired Army Gen. Jack Keane warned during an interview this week that Putin was “poised” to invade Ukraine because “they have finally moved in the artillery units, logistical infrastructure, major command headquarters that they would need to sustain an invasion.”
Keane said flatly that the aggression from Russia, China, and Iran was because they see “weakness” from Biden, whereas those same countries were held at bay by a much stronger Trump administration.
“This meeting [between Putin and] President Biden is very important, because I’m convinced that the reason why we have acceleration from China, from Iran and from Russia [is] there’s a perception that this presidency and this administration is more about accommodation and appeasement than about confronting and countering the strategic objectives of these three adversary countries,” Keane said. “People may disagree with the rhetoric associated with [Trump], but the policies were firm. Our adversaries understood that. I believe the reason for this is they see weakness here. I don’t like saying that, but that is the conclusion one must draw in terms of what is happening here.”