Several foreign media quoted U.S. officials as saying on Feb. 6 that Russia has amassed about 70 percent of the combat power needed for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in the coming weeks. They also said that if the Russians invade Ukraine, troops could take over the capital Kiev and overthrow President Zelensky within 48 hours, which coincides with what a supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.
Konstantin Malofeev, a close ally of Putin and a wealthy Russian businessman, told Russian media Znak that it would take “48 hours at most” for Russian troops to invade Ukraine because Kyiv is so “outnumbered”.
The open military conflict between Russia and Ukraine cannot be a war, or at least not a long-term war, because the difference in military power between Russia and the enemy is so great that Russia can only take actions to force peace,” he said.
He claimed Ukraine is now under the control of U.S. and British – “Anglo-Saxon” – intelligence agencies. He said the “invasion” has begun and that U.S. and British special forces are already in Ukraine. He said Russia also knows that Canadian special forces are in the country. He said it was expected that they might carry out provocations in the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic, not the Ukrainians.
The British media quoted two U.S. officials as saying that in the past two weeks, the number of Russian battalion tactical groups deployed at the border has increased from 60 to 83, which is 70% of the military capacity needed for Putin to do so if he wants to make a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. In addition, there are still 14 battalion tactical groups on the ground. Each battalion tactical group has about 750 troops.
They say they expect the ground to freeze and harden starting in mid-February, allowing Moscow to move more heavy equipment. The officials did not provide evidence for their assessment, saying the information was based on intelligence and could not provide details because of the sensitivity of the content.
Many U.S. and British media outlets, including the Washington Post, quoted U.S. officials as saying on May 5 that if Russia did invade Ukraine, it could kill up to 50,000 civilians, and they estimated that Russian forces would attack Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, which would fall within days, causing millions of refugees to flee to Europe. They estimate that if Russia launches a full-scale war against Ukraine, 25,000 to 50,000 civilians will be killed or wounded, 5,000 to 25,000 soldiers will be killed or wounded in Ukraine, and about 3,000 to 10,000 people will be killed or wounded in the Russian army.
They said Russia would probably only invade Ukraine on a limited basis, but did not think Russian President Vladimir Putin had made the final decision. He also added that a diplomatic solution is still possible.
Russia may admit to attacking Ukraine
After the German newspaper “Pictur” reported that the Russian army plans to annex Ukraine, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on May 5 that the article exceeded all possible limits of human morality and ethics.
Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya called the U.S. officials “almost asking” for the Russian invasion to happen. You (the U.S.) want it to happen, you’re waiting for it to happen, as if you want your word to be true,” he said.
The U.S. government has sent additional U.S. troops to Eastern Europe in response to the tense situation in Russia and Ukraine, which arrived in Poland on May 5. German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said she was considering sending more troops to Lithuania in response to the situation in Ukraine.
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