TOwhen Kiev fears further aggression from Russia, the American daily Washington post said Friday, December 3, that the country led by Vladimir Poutine would be preparing an offensive against Ukraine, involving up to 175,000 soldiers, from next year. Moscow is preparing to launch “100 battalions made up of tactical groups with an estimated strength of 175,000 men, as well as tanks, artillery and other equipment,” a senior American official told the newspaper on condition of anonymity.
When asked by Agence France-Presse, the Pentagon declined to comment on intelligence information, but said it was “very concerned about the evidence of Russia’s plans for aggressive action against Ukraine. “. “We continue to support the easing of tensions in the region and a diplomatic solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine,” Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Tony Semelroth said. Russian forces are concentrating at four different locations with 50 tactical battle groups, the Washington post, citing a US military document.
A “major escalation”
Joe Biden stepped up the pressure on Russia on Friday, saying he was preparing “initiatives” to defend Ukraine in the event of an invasion, following the concentration of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border. Ukrainian intelligence services believe that “the most likely period” for the completion of Russian preparations for a “major escalation” is the end of January, the Ukrainian minister of justice told parliament. Defense, Oleksiï Reznikov.
According to him, around 100,000 Russian troops could participate in a possible offensive. “Escalation is a possible scenario, but not inevitable. Our task is to prevent it ”, underlined the Minister. Russia has already “started military exercises near Ukraine” and is “testing its communications,” he said.
“We are deeply concerned about Russia’s plans for a new aggression against Ukraine,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday alongside his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, whom he said. met in Stockholm, resuming his accusations the day before when he first spoke of “evidence” of such invasion preparations.
“If Russia decides to continue on the path of confrontation, it will suffer serious consequences,” he warned, after threatening painful economic sanctions on Wednesday. The American President and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin are soon to discuss, by video conference, the tensions around Ukraine, seven years after the Russian annexation of Crimea and the takeover of part of eastern Ukraine. former Soviet republic by pro-Russian separatist forces.