Russian buildup near Ukraine gains steam, new satellite images show


A senior administration official, talking to reporters on the situation of anonymity, mentioned if Russian forces transfer into Ukraine, the U.S. and its allies “are prepared to impose severe costs that will damage Russia’s economy and bring about exactly what [Russia] says it does not want — more NATO capabilities, not less, closer to Russia, not further away.”

The remarks had been the clearest so far that the Biden administration is contemplating shifting troops and tools round Europe to defend its easternmost NATO allies.

In response to any Russian incursion, the U.S. would “increase support for Ukraine’s ability to defend its own territory and also to reassure our NATO partners and allies by changes in our force posture in frontline states,” the U.S. official mentioned. “All of that planning is well underway on our side and we’re ready to act if and when it’s needed.”

During his annual year-end press convention Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin continued to construct on the rhetoric he and his advisers used earlier within the week in a collection of speeches on the Ministry of Defense headquarters.

Speaking to his army employees on Tuesday, Putin warned Russia might take “military-technical response measures and react harshly to unfriendly steps,” if NATO didn’t finish its army coaching mission in Ukraine and cease equipping the Ukrainian army.

“It was the United States that came with its missiles to our home, to the doorstep of our home,” he mentioned on Thursday. “And you demand from me some guarantees. You should give us guarantees. You! And right away, right now.”

Russia final week despatched the U.S. and NATO a framework treaty, demanding the alliance pull again from bases in former satellite nations that are actually NATO allies. Brussels and Washington flatly rejected the phrases.

Walking away from Ukraine and shuttering bases in NATO nations near Russia are proposals “we will never agree to,” the administration official mentioned.

“Most of Russia’s demands target NATO and U.S. behavior, yet their military posture is pointed squarely at Ukraine,” mentioned Dara Massicot, a senior coverage researcher at RAND Corporation and former Obama administration DoD staffer centered on Russian army capabilities. “Russia is using the threat of force and an artificially imposed diplomatic urgency to set the pace and force concessions, and is essentially creating a hostage situation.”

Any recent Russian incursion into Ukraine could be the second in a decade, after the 2014 invasion and annexation of Crimea. Over 13,000 individuals have died since then in japanese Ukraine, the place Russian-backed separatists and troops have fought the Ukrainian authorities to a standstill.

Putin’s feedback at his press convention had been geared toward a home viewers, urgent the notion that Russian soil is being occupied by unfriendly Western regimes.

Lands that had been traditionally Russian had been carved out after the Soviet breakup and handed to Ukraine, Putin mentioned, one thing Moscow might stay with so long as Ukraine remained impartial.

But with a number of hundred NATO army trainers at a small base within the far west of the nation, “they are creating on this territory an anti-Russia, with the constant sending over of contemporary weapons, brainwashing the population,” Putin mentioned. “Imagine the historical perspective of Russia for living from now on, to be always looking over our shoulders?”

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby acknowledged this week {that a} small staff of American army officers lately visited Kyiv to evaluate the nation’s air and missile protection wants, as Washington considers one other spherical of army help.

Whatever the U.S. would possibly attempt to present within the near-term could be too late if Russia launches an invasion within the subsequent a number of months, nevertheless.

“A multi-domain operation would be devastating for the Ukrainian military, which is why Kyiv is asking for more air defense support,” Massicot mentioned. She added that the speak in Washington about supplying Stingers, Patriot air protection techniques and Javelin anti-tank weapons would have solely “a marginal benefit at best against a Russian operation of this size, either due to technical reasons, or simply not enough numbers or enough time to deploy and integrate them.”



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