Crisis in Ukraine: according to American intelligence services, Russia is preparing a large-scale invasion
Steph Deschamps / February 6, 2022
These services have not established whether Vladimir Putin has taken the decision to go on the offensive or not. But they believe that the Russian leader wants to give himself the opportunity.
Their opinion contrasts with the muted language of diplomats. American intelligence services believe that Russia is stepping up preparations for a large-scale invasion of Ukraine. According to Washington, it already has 70% of the necessary equipment for such an operation. Moscow has already massed 110,000 troops on the borders of Ukraine and could have sufficient capacity to launch an offensive in two weeks, these officials said on Sunday, February 6, after having informed in recent days the elected representatives of the U.S. Congress and the European partners of the United States.
They said U.S. intelligence had not established whether Russian President Vladimir Putin had made a decision to go on the offensive or not, but wanted to prepare to implement all possible options, from a partial invasion of the separatist enclave of Donbass to a full invasion.
At the rate Russia's military build-up around Ukraine continues, the Kremlin's master should have enough forces for a full-scale invasion of 150,000 troops by mid-February, intelligence officials have warned. If the Russian president chooses the most radical option, he could surround the Ukrainian capital Kiev and overthrow President Volodymyr Zelensky within 48 hours, these officials said.
They warned that the human cost of the conflict would be considerable, with the risk of 25,000 to 50,000 civilian deaths, 5,000 to 25,000 Ukrainian soldiers and 3,000 to 10,000 Russian soldiers. It could also cause an influx of 1 to 5 million refugees, mainly to Poland.