Russian president Vladimir Putin
Russia is almost ready to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, US officials claimed today.
They said Russia has assembled 70 per cent of the military power it needs for an invasion and could launch one within days.
Russia is reported to have more than 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s borders, but denies planning an attack.
The US officials did not provide any evidence for their assessment, saying the information came from confidential intelligence reports.
They said Russia is preparing to move heavy-duty equipment to the border with eastern Ukraine.
Jake Sullivan, president Joe Biden’s national security advisor, said the US and Nato are preparing for an invasion at any moment.
He told NBC: “We’re in the window where something could happen that is a military escalation and invasion of Ukraine can happen at any time.
“We believe that the Russians have put in place the capabilities to mount a significant military operation into Ukraine and we have been working hard to prepare a response.”
Russian officials have roundly rejected the claims, while a senior Russian diplomat characterised the latest US warnings as alarmist and highly unlikely.
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Hundreds US troops land in Poland
Hundreds of US airborne infantry troops have landed in Poland today.
The Biden administration is deploying 3,000 US troops to Germany, Poland and Romania, increasing its presence in the region amid rising tensions on the Russia-Ukraine border.
The troops are set to strengthen Nato’s eastern flank.
Laurie Churchman6 February 2022 16:30
Liz Truss set to visit Moscow next week
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is expected to visit Moscow next week in a bid to calm tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
European leaders are also preparing to travel to both Moscow and Kyiv amid fears Russia may launch an invasion.
French President Emmanuel Macron is set to visit Moscow on Monday and Kyiv on Tuesday, while German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will travel to Kyiv on February 14 and Moscow on February 15.
Laurie Churchman6 February 2022 16:10
Ex-oligarch: Weapons for Ukraine ‘more important than restricting Russian assets’
A former oligarch has said bolstering Ukraine’s defences is the most important way to show solidarity with Kyiv in the face of Russian aggression on the border.
Exiled Russian businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky said the UK providing weapons and training to Ukrainian forces “shows to Putin that the war won’t be such an easy ride.”
Speaking on Trevor Phillips On Sunday on Sky News, Mr Khodorkovsky was asked whether putting more pressure on the assets of allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the UK would deter Moscow from launching an invasion in Ukraine.
You can read the full story below.
Laurie Churchman6 February 2022 15:52