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US officials say Russia preparing full-scale invasion of Ukraine

Russia has stepped up preparations for an all-out invasion of Ukraine however it’s not clear if Moscow has determined to take such a step, US officers have mentioned citing intelligence assessments.US officials say Russian leader Vladimir Putin wants all possible options at his disposal: from a limited invasion of the pro-Russian Donbas region of Ukraine to a full-scale invasion© WANG Zhao US officers say Russian chief Vladimir Putin needs all potential choices at his disposal: from a restricted invasion of the pro-Russian Donbas area of Ukraine to a full-scale invasion

Russia has assembled 110,000 troops alongside the border with its pro-Western neighbor however US intelligence has not decided if President Vladimir Putin has really determined to invade, based on the officers who in latest days briefed members of Congress and European allies.

The officers warned lawmakers that the assembled Russian power on the frontier is rising at a price that might give Putin the power he wants for a full-scale invasion — some 150,000 troopers — by mid-February.

They mentioned Putin needs all potential choices at his disposal: from a restricted marketing campaign within the pro-Russian Donbas area of Ukraine to a full-scale invasion.

Russia denies that it’s planning to invade Ukraine.

If Moscow does go for a full-scale assault, the invading power may take the capital Kyiv and topple President Volodymyr Zelensky in a matter of 48 hours, the officers mentioned.

They estimated such an assault would go away 25,000 to 50,000 civilians lifeless, together with 5,000 to 25,000 Ukrainian troopers and three,000 to 10,000 Russian ones.

It may additionally set off a refugee flood of 1 to 5 million folks, primarily into Poland, the officers added.

– Particular forces –

President Joe Biden has determined to ship American forces to Poland to guard NATO members, as diplomats work furiously to attempt to persuade Russia to drag its troops again from the border with Ukraine.

Russia has additionally introduced what it calls joint navy maneuvers with Belarus, the place it has despatched a number of battalions to the north of Kyiv and within the Brest area, not removed from the border with Poland.

US intelligence has concluded that Russia is constant to muster a significant navy power on its border with Ukraine.

Two weeks in the past, a complete of 60 Russian military battalions had been positioned to the north, east and south of Ukraine, notably within the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed after an invasion in 2014.

However on Friday, there have been 80 battalions and 14 extra had been en route from elsewhere in Russia, US officers mentioned.

They added that some 1,500 Russian particular forces troopers often known as Spetsnaz arrived alongside the Ukraine border per week in the past.

– Naval forces assembling –

A significant Russian naval power can also be positioned within the Black Sea, geared up with 5 amphibious vessels that might be used to land troops on Ukraine’s southern coast, the US officers mentioned.

They added that one other six amphibious craft had been noticed leaving the Barents Sea north of Russia, crusing previous Britain and thru the Strait of Gibraltar, apparently on their method to the Black Sea.

In different deployments, Russia has positioned fighter planes close to Ukraine, in addition to bombers, missile batteries and anti-aircraft batteries, US officers mentioned.

On Thursday, the US mentioned it had proof that Russia was getting ready a video depicting a bogus assault by Ukraine that might function a pretext for an actual Russian assault on Ukraine. Supply: AFP

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