In anticipation of the invasion of Ukraine, America is putting forces on alert, and Russia is talking about “hysteria” in the West
The US Department of Defense (the Pentagon) announced, on Monday, that it has placed 8,500 soldiers on high alert in anticipation of their possible deployment in eastern Europe in support of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) (NATO) in the event that Russia invades Ukraine, while Moscow condemned what it called hysteria in the West. about possible Russian military action against its western neighbor.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that he had not yet taken a final decision to send these soldiers outside the United States, and that this would happen in the event that NATO activates its rapid response force, which includes 40,000 soldiers, or if there are developments regarding the military buildup. Russian on the Ukrainian border.
Kirby added that putting these military personnel on high alert by order of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin cuts in half the time needed for them to prepare to leave the United States abroad, from 10 days to just 5 days.
The US spokesman added that the diplomatic option still exists with regard to Russian military movements on the borders of Ukraine, and in this context, he referred to the continuation of talks between Washington and Moscow, but stressed that the Russians currently have no intention of reducing tension.
Kirby’s comments came as the White House said President Joe Biden still believed that Russia could launch a military operation against Ukraine at any time.
On Monday evening, Biden held video consultations with a number of European leaders to coordinate between Washington and its allies across the Atlantic to respond to the Russian military buildup on the border with Ukraine.
Closed talks included the President of the European Commission, the President of the European Council, the French President, the German Chancellor, the Italian Prime Minister, as well as the Secretary General of NATO, the Polish President, and the British Prime Minister.
During the talks, Western leaders renewed their unconditional support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and threatened Russia with dire consequences if it launched an aggression against its western neighbor.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said after the talks that it was agreed that any new Russian aggression against Ukraine would be very costly.
The United States and its allies confirm that Russia has deployed about 100,000 soldiers, backed by large numbers of mechanisms, on the borders of Ukraine in preparation for attacking it, which Moscow denies.
American deployment details
According to The New York Times, US President Joe Biden is considering deploying thousands of American soldiers, warships and NATO aircraft to the Baltic states and Eastern Europe, and that he may make a decision on this early this week.
The newspaper pointed out that the options include sending between 1,000 and 5,000 soldiers to Eastern Europe, with the possibility of raising that number to 10 times if the situation deteriorates.
In turn, CNN quoted US officials as saying that the Biden administration is in the final stages of determining the military units it intends to send to Eastern Europe.
The network quoted these officials as saying that the US administration is drafting special military orders in this regard in an effort to deter Russia, which has amassed tens of thousands of its forces on the border with Ukraine.
She explained that the final decision had not been taken, noting that the goal of sending military reinforcements to Eastern Europe is to provide deterrence and reassure allies.
NATO military action
In a remarkable military move, NATO announced on Monday that it was preparing reserve forces to be on alert, and that it would send aircraft and ships to enhance the alliance’s defense capability in Eastern Europe.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance will continue to take all necessary measures to protect and defend member states.
NATO’s decision coincides with military maneuvers initiated by the alliance in the Mediterranean that will continue until February 4th.
The decision also comes hours after the US president met his national security team, which discussed the deployment of forces in the Baltic states and eastern Europe.
In the Russian reaction, Alexander Grushko, Deputy Russian Foreign Minister, said that NATO sending additional forces to eastern European countries is evidence that the alliance adopts an approach of threat and military pressure.
Grushko added that NATO’s attempts to paint an aggressive image of Russia aim to justify the alliance’s military activities in Far Eastern Europe.
On the other hand, Russian presidential spokesman (Kremlin) Dmitry Peskov said that Washington and NATO are escalating tension through “advertising hysteria” and “concrete steps”, noting that the risk of Ukrainian forces launching an attack against pro-Russian separatists is very high.
Peskov denied any intention by his country to cut off gas supplies to Europe in the event that Western countries impose sanctions on Russia.
The Kremlin has expressed concern about the situation in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, and called on Kiev not to think about settling the conflict by force.
He said that the Kiev authorities had deployed large numbers of troops and military equipment on the line of contact between Ukrainian forces and pro-Moscow separatists.
On the ground, the Ukrainian army has kept its forces in advanced positions on the Donbass front with a high degree of readiness and vigilance in anticipation of any possible military development there.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said a Ukrainian soldier was moderately wounded on the Donbass front, where separatists have violated the ceasefire 10 times in the last 24 hours.
In the same context, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Monday that the situation in the east of the country is under control and there is no need to panic.
After a meeting of the National Security Council to discuss tension with Russia, Zelensky stressed that his country was ready for anything.