The Washington Post reported Friday that Russia is launching a multi-front attack involving 175,000 troops as soon as next year, as Ukraine warned a massive attack could be planned next month. .
“Moscow’s plans include the widespread movement of 100 battalion tactical groups with an estimated 175,000 personnel, including armor, artillery and equipment,” a US administration official told the Post on condition of anonymity.
While the Pentagon told AFP it would not comment on intelligence matters, it said it was “deeply concerned by the evidence that Russia has planned aggressive actions against Ukraine.”
“We continue to de-escalate tensions in the region and support a diplomatic solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine,” said Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Tony Semmelroth.
The Post, citing an unclassified US intelligence document, said the Russian military is currently operating extensively on four points, deploying 50 battlefield tactical groups in addition to the new arrivals of tanks and artillery.
The Post, citing its sources, said that movement through the border is meant to make any strategic move suspicious and create uncertainty.
US President Joe Biden said earlier in the day that he was formulating new policies to prevent any Russian plans to invade Ukraine, as Washington and Kiev both reported that Moscow had moved troops near its border. had collected.
Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksey Reznikov estimated that Russia has about 100,000 troops near the border. Russia denies any military build-up.
“The most likely time to reach preparation for the increase would be the end of January,” Reznikov said.
After a visit with his Russian counterpart on Thursday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington “has deep concerns about Russia’s plans for a renewed offensive against Ukraine.” He warned Moscow of “serious consequences” if Russia “decides to escalate the confrontation.”
Biden and President Vladimir Putin are scheduled to have a video call to discuss rising tensions, both sides confirmed on Friday.
Biden told reporters in Washington that he is “putting together the most comprehensive and meaningful initiatives, so that it is very difficult for Mr. Putin to move forward and do what people are concerned that he may.”
Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and has since backed separatists fighting Kiev in the country’s east. More than 13,000 people have died in the conflict.
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