Ukraine conflict: Pentagon fears Russian offensive

Status: 04.12.2021 8:16 a.m.

According to a report by the US secret service, Russia is planning an offensive with up to 175,000 soldiers in the conflict with Ukraine. The Washington Post reports. Half of the soldiers are said to have already been transferred to the border.

Up to 175,000 soldiers, 100 tactical battalions, including tanks, artillery and equipment: this is what the Kremlin’s plan for an attack on Ukraine looks like, according to a report in the Washington Post. The newspaper refers, among other things, to a US intelligence report that it has.

The accompanying satellite photos show that Russia is gathering troops and equipment at four locations near the border with Ukraine. 50 tactical battalions with around 70,000 soldiers have already been relocated. According to the newspaper report, the Russian armed forces are currently gathering at four points. The movements towards and away from the border are intended to obscure the tactical approach and stir up uncertainty.

US intelligence agencies “deeply concerned”

At the beginning of next year, Moscow wanted to be ready for a possible offensive that could come from several flanks. The US secret service was “deeply concerned about indications that Russia has forged plans to take aggressive action against Ukraine”. Washington supports “further de-escalation in the region and a diplomatic solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine,” said Pentagon spokesman Tony Semelroth.

US President Joe Biden warned his counterpart Vladimir Putin amid concerns about troop deployment and the increasingly bellicose rhetoric from the Kremlin. Biden said he was in the process of preparing “the most comprehensive and significant series of initiatives to make it very, very difficult for Mr. Putin to do what many fear”.

Ukraine fears attack “at the end of January”

The US government has been warning of a possible Russian attack on Ukraine for days and is threatening sanctions. Moscow denies and accuses NATO of fueling tensions in the region. Biden and Putin could try to defuse the situation directly next week. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, a video link is being prepared between the two presidents.

Ukraine fears an attack by Russia in a few weeks’ time. “The most likely time for escalation readiness is the end of January,” said Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksi Resnikov on Friday. The Ukrainian secret service is currently analyzing all possible scenarios.

With information from Julia Kastein, ARD-Studio Washington

Reference-www.tagesschau.de

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