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American sources reveal the scenario of the largest war in Europe since 1945.. an invasion of Ukraine in two days, tens of thousands of deaths and the flight of millions

US officials have announced that US intelligence believes that Russia is intensifying its preparations for a large-scale invasion of Ukraine, and that it already has 70 percent of the force needed to carry out such an operation.

Moscow has massed 110,000 troops on Ukraine’s border and could have enough capacity to launch an attack within two weeks, according to those officials who have told elected members of the US Congress and the US’s European partners in recent days.

They pointed out that US intelligence did not determine whether Russian President Vladimir Putin had taken the decision to move to the attack or not, and that he wanted all possible options in front of him, from a partial invasion of the separatist enclave of Donbass, to a complete invasion.

Officials warned members of Congress and European allies that at the rate the Russian military continues to send reinforcements around Ukraine, Putin will have enough forces (150,000 in mid-February) to carry out a large-scale invasion.

And if the Russian president chooses the tougher option, he could encircle the Ukrainian capital of Kiev and oust President Volodymyr Zelensky within 48 hours, according to those officials.

The number of victims of a possible invasion

They warned that the conflict will have a great human cost in light of the possibility that it will cause the deaths of between 25,000 and 50,000 civilians, between 5,000 and 25,000 Ukrainian soldiers, and between 3,000 and 10,000 Russian soldiers, and could cause an influx of 1 million to 5 million. refugees, mainly to Poland.

For its part, The Washington Post reported that US intelligence and military assessments reviewed by Congressional lawmakers and European officials indicate that Russia is close to completing preparations for what appears to be a large-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Assessments add that this Russian invasion could lead to the deaths of up to 50,000 civilians, bring down the Ukrainian government within two days, and spark a humanitarian crisis with as many as 5 million refugees fleeing the country.

A Western security official estimated – according to the Washington Post – the number of Russian forces along the Ukrainian border at 130,000 Russian soldiers.

The newspaper reported that US intelligence assessments say that the window for a diplomatic solution to the crisis appears closed.

For its part, the New York Times revealed that officials said during meetings with lawmakers – last Thursday – that the Russian army had collected about 70% of the forces it needed to launch a complete invasion of Ukraine.

The officials stressed that US intelligence believed that Putin had not made a final decision to invade Ukraine, but satellite imagery showed that he had gathered everything he needed to do what officials said would be the largest military operation in Europe since 1945.

The timing of the possible invasion

Two US officials told Reuters that over the past two weeks, the number of tactical battalion groups in the border area increased from 60 to 83 as of Friday, and another 14 groups are currently being transferred.

As for the timing of the invasion, the two officials said, the ground is expected to reach the freezing point around February 15, allowing Russian military units to cross rough roads, and such conditions will continue until the end of March.

This timetable, with the increasing number and capabilities of Russian forces near Ukraine’s borders, may indicate that the window of diplomacy is closing, but US officials have not provided evidence to support their estimates of the size of Russian forces.

Russian denials and exercises

On the other hand, Russia denies any intention to invade Ukraine, and stresses that it only wants to ensure its security.

Russia’s security demands include not accepting Ukraine – in the future – as a member of NATO, a demand that the alliance and the United States have said is unacceptable.

The Russian landing forces conducted military exercises in the Smolensk region, located in western Russia on the Belarusian border.

600 landing forces participated in these exercises, using 30 units of special military equipment of the offensive and airborne forces, as well as 15 aircraft and combat helicopters of the Russian Air Force.

These forces conducted tactical exercises in the area, simulating an operation to seize an imaginary enemy airport, and also carried out an offensive operation to eliminate military formations using artillery and mortars.

In parallel, thousands of residents of the city of Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine, organized a march that the city had not witnessed for years, to denounce what they called Russian aggression, and to stress that Kharkiv is a Ukrainian city, and that they will defend it and not allow Russia to invade it, a city only 40 kilometers from the city. Russian-Ukrainian border.

US reinforcements in Poland

While Western concern grows over what Western sources describe as an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine; Yesterday, Saturday, a first group of American soldiers arrived in Poland, after President Joe Biden’s decision to send reinforcements to defend NATO countries “against any aggression”, amid a flurry of diplomacy aimed at persuading Moscow to withdraw its forces massed at the borders of Ukraine.

“As it was announced, the first elements of the combat brigade group of the 82nd Airborne Division of the US Army have arrived in Poland,” a Polish military spokesman said.

The US military confirmed that Major General Christopher Donahue, commander in chief of the US 82nd Airborne Division, had arrived in Poland.

On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden ordered the transfer of nearly 3,000 additional troops to Poland and Romania, to protect Eastern Europe from the possible repercussions of the Ukraine crisis.

US Army sources said that about 1,700 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division, stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, will arrive in Poland in the coming days.

The US military already has about 4,500 troops in Poland, both as part of NATO and bilaterally, most of whom are stationed in western Poland on a rotating basis.

US pressure on Japan

In the same context, the United States is putting pressure on Japan to impose economic sanctions on Russia if it attacks Ukraine, according to Japanese media reports.

Yesterday, Saturday, Japan’s Kyodo news agency quoted unnamed well-informed diplomatic sources as saying that Washington had urged Tokyo to escalate its criticism against Russia.

The agency’s report said that Japan “postponed its response to the US request, fearing possible repercussions on bilateral relations and issues with Russia, including the long-running territorial dispute in which Tokyo is seeking a breakthrough.”

In the same context, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told US President Joe Biden, in a virtual meeting last month, that Tokyo would take “strong measures in response to any attack,” according to the report.

However, the sources said that Japan “is doing a balancing act of getting along with the United States and other Western countries, and trying not to anger Moscow.”



Reference-www.aljazeera.net

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