Thousands of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border, a tank convoy and a deadly escalation of the Grund Trench war in eastern Ukraine.
Storm clouds in Eastern Europe are causing severe panic in Washington and across the continent.
We now see the largest concentration of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine since 2014, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Tuesday after visiting NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. This is a great concern not only for Ukraine but also for the United States.
The next day, in a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Joe Biden announced Washington’s unwavering commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and called for a reduction in tensions with Russia, according to a textbook from the White House.
Western officials and experts are now trying to figure out what Moscow might plan: Is Putin testing Biden’s skills, or is he really trying to create a new military conflict on the outskirts of Europe?
The optimistic assessment is that it means intimidating Ukraine, said Michael Kaufman, a senior research scientist at CNA, a Virginia-based research group. The pessimistic assessment that I think is less likely but still worth considering is that Russia is really suffering from the fight and they are trying to put Ukraine into a dilemma.
Russia and Ukraine have been at odds since 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine and began supporting separatists in the east of the country. Since then, the war has raged and cost some 14,000 lives despite several shaky ceasefires.
But since March, experts say they are seeing something new.
Russia has begun sending thousands of troops, tanks, artillery and other units to Crimea and other regions along its 1,200-mile land border with Ukraine, according to independent experts who have watched Western governments and observers of these strategies.
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Russia has 40,000 troops in Crimea on Monday and another 40,000 elsewhere on the border, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday.
The Russian military has an estimated 800,000 to 900,000 troops, about 10 percent of the total Russian military workforce, said former US Marine Rob Lee, who now tracks military installations at the King’s War Studies Department. College London. .
Russia says the moves are training missions, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday. But experts say they don’t fit the normal pattern of this war. Russian military officials did not provide general-level details or omens.
They are deliberately hiding their motives here, Lee said.
Europeans have already said that the fragile ceasefire, which has dragged down the Donbas conflict for a short time, has deteriorated, with more than 30 Ukrainian soldiers killed so far this year compared to 49 in 2020, Ukraine said. .
In response, the US European Command has made its threat level the most available, the New York Times reported. According to Turkey, it plans to send two warships to the Black Sea, which it controls their entry. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby declined to comment on the two movements at a recent briefing.
If Russia acts recklessly, Blinken told NBC News: ‘Meet the press on Sunday, it will have consequences.
After a meeting with Blinken on Tuesday, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmitry Colaba said that the formation of Russia was taking place not only on the borders of Ukraine, but also on the borders of the democratic world.