Concerns are growing that Russia may invade Ukraine in the coming months.
Per Fox News:
U.S. officials believe Russia is planning a multi-front military invasion of Ukraine, involving as many as 175,000 troops, as soon as early 2022, Fox News has confirmed.
Breitbart also reports:
Ukraine Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov warned on Friday that Russia now has over 94,000 troops massed along the border and could be plotting an invasion before the end of January 2022.
What’s going on?
Based on the most recent comments from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to stop Ukraine from becoming part of NATO.
Lavrov is specifically quoted as saying that Putin has called for the West to “rule out any further eastward expansion of NATO and the deployment of weapons systems posing a threat to us in close proximity to Russia’s territory.”
This appears to be the reason why Russia is amassing troops along the Ukrainian border.
Reznikov revealed that Russia has been using a tactic wherein Russian troops advance to the Ukrainian border, set up camp for a while, and then take off, leaving their weapons behind, so that when they return they are ready to fight.
The U.S. response
On Friday, President Joe Biden said that he is going to make it “very, very difficult” for Russia to invade Ukraine.
“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 said.
What exactly this would entail is unclear, but it follows similar comments made earlier this week by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who had met with Lavrov.
Lavrov, following the meeting, claimed that Blinken threatened Russia with new sanctions, but did not go into details. Lavrov also threatened a response from Russia if the U.S. follows through with such sanctions.
It appears that arrangements are currently being made for a conversation between Biden and Putin. A specific date is said to have been agreed upon, but this date has yet to be made public.