U.S. intelligence finds Russia planning Ukraine offensive | AP News

U.S. intelligence officials have determined Russia is planning a possible military offensive against Ukraine that could begin as soon as early 2022 and would include an estimated 175,000 personnel, according to an administration official.

Europe, Russia

12/4/2021 5:00:00 AM

U.S. intelligence officials have determined Russia is planning a possible military offensive against Ukraine that could begin as soon as early 2022 and would include an estimated 175,000 personnel, according to an administration official.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. intelligence officials have determined that Russia n planning is underway for a possible military offensive against Ukraine that could begin as soon as early 2022 and would include an estimated 175,000 personnel, according to an administration official.

WASHINGTON (AP) —U.S. intelligence officials have determined that Russian planning is underway for a possible military offensive against Ukraine that could begin as soon as early 2022 and would include an estimated 175,000 personnel, according to an administration official.

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The new intelligence finding estimates that half of the Russian personel are already deployed along various points near Ukraine’s border, according to a Biden administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the finding.It comes as Russia has picked up its demands on Biden to guarantee that Ukraine will not be allowed to join the NATO alliance.

ADVERTISEMENTThe official added that the plans call for the movement of 100 battalion tactical groups along with armor, artillery, and equipment.Intelligence officials also have seen an uptick in Russian information operations’ use of proxies and media outlets to denigrate Ukraine and NATO ahead of a potential invasion, the official said. headtopics.com

The intelligence findings were first reported by The Washington Post.Earlier Friday, President Joe Biden pledged to make it “very, very difficult” for Russia’s Vladimir Putin to take military action in Ukraine and said new initiatives coming from his administration are intended to deter Russian aggression.

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The president offered the measured warning to Putin in response togrowing concern about a Russian buildupof troops on the Ukrainian border and increasingly bellicose rhetoric from the Kremlin.“What I am doing is putting together what I believe to be will be the most comprehensive and meaningful set of initiatives to make it very, very difficult for Mr. Putin to go ahead and do what people are worried he may do,” Biden told reporters.

The Kremlin said Friday that Putin would seek binding guarantees precluding NATO’s expansion to Ukraine during the call with Biden, while the Ukrainian defense minister warned that Russia could invade his country next monthUkrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov told lawmakers Friday that the number of Russian troops near Ukraine and in Russian-annexed Crimea is estimated at 94,300, warning that a “large-scale escalation” is possible in January.

There are signs that the White House and Kremlin are close to arranging a conversation next week between Biden and Putin. Putin’s foreign affairs adviser Yuri Ushakov told reporters Friday that arrangements have been made for a Putin-Biden call in the coming days, adding that the date will be announced after Moscow and Washington finalize details. The Russians say a date has been agreed upon, but declined to say when. headtopics.com

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Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy have also tentatively agreed to have a call next week, according to a person close to the Ukrainian president who was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.White House press secretary Jen Psaki said administration officials have “engaged in the possibility” of a Biden-Putin call. White House officials did not respond to a request for comment on the expected Zelenskyy call.

“It certainly would be an opportunity to discuss our serious concerns about the bellicose rhetoric, about the military buildup that we’re seeing on the border of Ukraine,” Psaki said of a potential Biden-Putin call.Biden did not detail what actions he was weighing. But Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who met Thursday with Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Sweden, said the U.S. has threatened new sanctions. He did not detail the potential sanctions but suggested the effort would not be effective.

“If the new ‘sanctions from hell’ come, we will respond,” Lavrov said. “We can’t fail to respond.”Psaki said the administration would look to coordinate with European allies if it moved forward with sanctions. She noted that bitter memories of Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that had been under Ukraine’s control since 1954, are front of mind as the White House considers the way forward.

“We know what President Putin has done in the past,” Psaki said. “We see that he is putting in place the capacity to take action in short order.”Deep differences were on displayduring the Blinken-Lavrov meeting, with the Russia official charging the West was “playing with fire” by denying Russia a say in any further NATO expansion into countries of the former Soviet Union. Zelenskyy has pushed for Ukraine to join the alliance, which holds out the promise of membership but hasn’t set a a timeline. headtopics.com

Blinken this week said the U.S. has “made it clear to the Kremlin that we will respond resolutely, including with a range of high-impact economic measures that we’ve refrained from using in the past.”He did not detail what sanctions were being weighed, but one potentially could be to cut off Russia from the SWIFT system of international payments. The European Union’s Parliament approved a nonbinding resolution in April to cut off Russia from SWIFT if its troops entered Ukraine.

Such a move would go far toward blocking Russian businesses from the global financial system. Western allies reportedly considered such a step in 2014 and 2015, during earlier Russian-led escalations of tensions over Ukraine.Then-Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said it would be tantamount to “a declaration of war.”

U.S.-Russia relations have been rocky since Biden took office.In addition to the Ukraine issue, the Biden administration has levied sanctions against Russian targets and called out Putin on Kremlin interference in U.S. elections, malign cyberactivity against U.S. businesses, and the treatment of opposition figure Alexei Navalny, who was poisoned last year and then later imprisoned.

Putin and Biden met face to face in Geneva in June, with the U.S. president warning if Russia crossed certain red lines — including going after major American infrastructure — his administration would respond and “the consequences of that would be devastating.”

—Isachenkov reported from Moscow. Associated Press writer Ellen Knickmeyer in Washington contributed reporting.

Read more: The Associated Press »

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Lotusfeetns If true, it will lead to chaos. If false, billions of barnacles to your sources ! Don’t get involved That was great when Biden said he's going to 'make Putin choke on his own blood and wipe Russia off the map just for the fun of it on christmas day, and then drop about 20 nuclear bombs on China on new years day'.

Matt_Severn Christmas Day! As soon as Germany and Europe complain Russia will throttle gas supplies. Russia will invade Ukraine and then give Germany a good spanking. The Russians know how to play chess Ukraine oott Putin has been planning this for 12 months. Trump has been in the background encouraging, saying Boden won't respond. The EU are no where to be seen. So it should be a quick war,but of course Putin likes a war and his troops are bored and need to kill. Like throwing meat to a dog

Putin, please stop. davetroy Putin stepping in the help his Republican buddies once again. How do we get the Cubans involved? Maybe Ukraine will have to check their schedule and see if this FAKE WARS ok with them and see if Maybe a better time would might be better. Maybe say like spring but not as far out as summer.Maybe Ukraine will forget by then it will be a surprise. I hear fall is nice 4 war too

Ukraine says Russia amassed over 94,000 troops at border | AP News Ukraine ’s defense minister estimates that Russia has amassed more than 94,000 troops near their borders and says there is a probability of a “large-scale escalation” in late January. Moscow has denied planning to invade. Wow, whic country borders Ukraine that the bastards have sent these troops to Morning_Joe russia pushes nearly 100,000 modern troops on a border with a country whose lands it has already occupied..its sabre rattling of the worse first war kind, it needs a response..and a response of nato troops could even prompt russian action..its a mindless pissing contest putin /1 Russians, Ukraine, the World & most Americans want to see PavilonianPUTIN IN🔥He'll🔥 Where he Belongs Do ya think you can help us Mr.P

Why would they want to? Happy New Ye... wait, what How about start moving troops to Poland? This US has simulations and plans to invade almost every country on earth. But we haven't. Even if Russia did I don't think the US or EU would do anything about it except sanctions. Seems kinda irresponsible with covid going on

Duh You mean like they said Russia was planning in: 2019 2018 2017 2016 2014 ... Finally, a new crisis we can sink our teeth into. No shit. Shocking is that comrades in Russia are working on this since January and we are now confirming 🤦🏻‍♂️ - breakingnews Well I certainly hope this forecast is more accurate than the fall of Afghanistan.

Opinion | Deterring Russia in UkraineFrom WSJopinion: The best way to send a message to Putin is more lethal military assistance to Ukraine , whose troops are fighting and dying against Russia n-backed separatists in the east opinion Yeah, that will ramp up quickly! STUPID. opinion What could possibly go wrong? opinion Just give Oekraine 6 nuclear plants at the border, they can always threaten to blow them

US urges Russia to take diplomatic route on Ukraine or face consequencesUS Secretary of State Antony Blinken warns his Russia n counterpart Lavrov of the 'serious consequences' Russia would suffer if it invades Ukraine they ain't scared of ya'll. china got their back, go back to your turf or to iraq

Opinion | In the Russia-Ukraine Conflict, Standing Up to Putin Is Our Only Credible OptionOpinion: A recent op-ed suggested that President Biden should push Ukraine to make a key concession to Russia . Here's why that would be a huge mistake. - Because history shows us that attempting to appease psychopathic dictators never ends well… Honestly Ukrainian love Russian Wouldn't that be sort of like the US giving Texas back to Mexico? Wait ...

Russia planning 'significant aggressive moves against Ukraine,' Blinken warnsThe U.S. is 'deeply concerned by evidence that Russia has made plans for significant aggressive moves against Ukraine ,' Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday. No swiping Russia no swiping Russia I see that the US is taking the Susan Collins approach to geopolitics. US constantly with the war drums.

As warnings fly between U.S. and Russia, how real is the threat of war in Ukraine?So far, tensions between Washington and Moscow over Ukraine have been restricted to a war of words, but could it flare into something more dangerous? LauraKingLAT reports: LauraKingLAT Why has it happened, now, rather than a year ago. Wasn’t the White House sponsoring the loveliest Kumbaya of the last 100 years? Bringing nations together with a passionate plea of friendship? Sleeping at the U.N., ice cream talks, tales that never happened, didn’t help I guess.