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Russia to prepare offensive against Ukraine involving up to 175,000 troops, US newspaper says

The “Washington Post” quotes a senior American official, on condition of anonymity, and an American military document devoted to the movements of troops on the border between Russia and Ukraine.






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Russia would prepare an offensive against Ukraine as early as next year, affirms it Washington Post (in English), Friday December 3. Moscow could launch “100 battalions made up of tactical groups with an estimated strength of 175,000, as well as tanks, artillery and other equipment”, in fact affirmed a senior American official to the American daily, on condition of anonymity. Russian forces are concentrating in four different locations with 50 tactical combat groups, the daily also writes, citing a US military document.

>> Five questions on the conflict on the border between Russia and Ukraine that raises fears of a Russian invasion

Contacted by AFP, the Pentagon declined to comment on intelligence information, but said it was “very concerned about 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”, said Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Tony Semelroth.

Video: A Russian invasion in Ukraine? According to NATO Moscow is planning “aggressive actions” (Dailymotion)

Ukrainian intelligence services believe that “the most likely period” for the completion of Russian preparations for a “major escalation” is the end of January, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiï Reznikov told parliament. According to him, around 100,000 Russian troops could participate in a possible offensive. Russia already has “started military exercises near Ukraine” and is in the process of “test your communications“, underlined the minister. “Escalation is a possible scenario, but not an inevitable one. Our task is to prevent it.”

US President Joe Biden has stepped up the pressure on Russia by saying he is preparing “initiatives” to defend Ukraine in the event of an invasion, due to the concentration of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border. He will soon discuss by videoconference with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, the tensions around Ukraine, seven years after the Russian annexation of Crimea and the takeover of part of eastern Ukraine by pro-Russian separatist forces.

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