Is Russia preparing to invade Ukraine?

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The US has warned that Russia may plan to invade Ukraine in a repeat of its 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Washington officials “privately briefed their EU counterparts about a possible military operation as tens of thousands of Russian troops amassed at the border”, Telegram said.

Senior Whitehall sources told the newspaper that the UK government was concerned about reports describing a growing “twitch” and “concern” among officials.

Six years after the armistice Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian government soldiersRussia began recruiting, including elite forces, near the Ukrainian border. “Distribution is confidential“It usually happens at night,” he said. Bloomberg.

Joe Biden discussed the situation with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen at the White House earlier this week. US Vice President Kamala Harris also expressed her concerns with Emmanuel Macron during his ongoing visit to France.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters that Washington knows the “playbook” of Russian President Vladimir Putin, adding that Moscow “could make the grave mistake of trying to reconsider what it took on in 2014.”

‘muscle stretching’

Tensions have been mounting for months. In April, amid crackdowns on pro-Russian media and politicians in Ukraine, Moscow increased its military presence in southwestern Russia “for fear of renewed hostility”. Telegram reported at the time.

The deployment included troops, tanks and artillery, which sent Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on a “frantic tour of diplomatic activity.” Guard said. This included a call for NATO to swiftly follow up on the country’s application for alliance membership.

The “large-scale and ostentatious” arrival of the troops came at a time when the situation in Donbass, eastern Ukraine, was becoming more and more “volatile”, with demonstrations by pro-Russian and anti-government groups first erupting in 2014. Moscow Times.

The newspaper added that the ceasefire signed in 2015 had “effectively broken down” and resulted in increased casualties among both military personnel and civilians, with both sides “accusing each other of provocations and opening fire at regular intervals”.

In March, four Ukrainian soldiers were killed in one day in the biggest escalation since the summer of 2020, The Telegraph said. But the “scale” of the April military maneuvers “has prompted Ukrainian officials to talk about a potential large-scale invasion,” he said. .

The newspaper added that Ukraine’s military intelligence had “publicly warned of the danger of an attack”, with President Zelensky accusing Moscow of “flexing a muscle”.

Russia did not deny troop movements at the time, but a Kremlin spokesperson stressed that it “does not threaten anyone”, The Guardian reported. Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the nation’s army will do whatever it takes “to ensure the security of our country”.

cold diplomacy

Officials in Kiev hope that formalizing Ukraine’s relationship with NATO will deter Russian military intervention as it would drag other powerful western armies into the conflict.

NATO sources told The Guardian in April that members are monitoring Russia’s military buildup, but that Ukraine must “focus on domestic reforms” and “develop its defense capabilities in line with NATO standards” to become a member.

Coming second?

After Russia’s maneuvers in April, Guard He said analysts were “concerned about the scale of the stance amid escalating tensions between Moscow and Washington.”

Dr Nigel Gould-Davies, a senior analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, told the paper that backlog could be “more serious than just a show of force,” adding: “I don’t think we can rule out anything at this point.”

overwrite politicsSteven Pifer, the former US ambassador to Ukraine, said: movement of troops to the Crimean Peninsula “probably” is part of the game “annoying the government in Kiev and testing the West’s reaction”.

But “something worse could happen,” Pifer continued, adding that “a Russian attack would put Europe in a major crisis.”

In October, amid a worldwide gas shortageturned out, England Entered arms talks with Ukraine for the first time. Some experts suggested the move was the result of fears in Westminster that Russia would launch a second attack on Ukrainian territory.

The Moscow Times said the April increase also came at a time when Zelensky’s position was “weakening” at home.

The site added that although it performed impressively in the 2019 elections, “inadequate progress” in negotiations with Russia over the Donbass region and “economic hardships” exacerbated by the pandemic have weakened its hand.

Russia’s “sword swing in the region is not unusual,” The Telegraph said. However, Pifer warned that Western powers still need to “do more to dissuade Moscow from thoughts of a military adventure.”