The newest developments come after months of regular escalation alongside the Russia-Ukraine border that has nervous US and Western officers and led to tense talks between US diplomats and their counterparts.
Officials mentioned the present ranges of kit deployed within the space can provide front-line forces and different help models for seven to 10 days, as much as a month.
Half of these models are presently close to the border with Ukraine, intelligence finds. The official mentioned the willpower was based mostly on photographs from final month.
US Army Chief General James McConville mentioned on Saturday that “somewhere from 95,000 to 100,000 Russian soldiers” had been on the border with Ukraine.
“I don’t know what they’re going to do. But I’m very concerned about their posture, and it’s in the news,” McConville mentioned whereas talking on a panel on the Reagan National Defense Forum. “It gives the Russians a lot of options, and I’m not quite sure what they’re going to do. But to me, it’s a terrible one… it’s going to have a terrible impact on stability and security. Our European friends , and that’s why I have serious concerns about it.”
McConville’s assertion is taken into account the primary on-the-record acknowledgment of a military-level report by the US navy.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki mentioned in an announcement on Saturday that the build-up led to a deliberate “secure video call” on Tuesday between President Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin.
“The leaders will discuss a range of topics in US-Russia relations, including strategic stability, cyber and regional issues,” Saki mentioned. “President Biden will underline US concerns with Russian military activities along the border with Ukraine and reaffirm the United States’ support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“We have been aware of Russia’s actions for a long time,” he mentioned. When he left for Camp David. “I hope we are going to have a long discussion with Putin.”
Intelligence additionally means that Russia has all of the sudden established a reserve of contract troops that might be mobilized within the occasion of a Ukrainian invasion.
In addition to the navy build-up, intelligence suggests a Russian affect marketing campaign meant to discredit Ukraine’s leaders and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which is warning towards a Russian invasion.
“Recent information also indicates that Russian officials proposed to adjust Russia’s information operations against Ukraine to emphasize the narrative that Ukrainian leaders were set up by the West, the ‘Russian world’. and were acting against the interests of the Ukrainian people,” the administration official said.
On Friday, Biden warned that he would make it “very, very troublesome” for Putin to take military action in Ukraine, “essentially the most complete and significant set of initiatives” to prevent Russia’s leader from proceeding with the invasion. ” describes.
US officers have mentioned this might embrace new sanctions on the rich Russians in Putin’s interior circle and elevated navy support to Ukraine.
A National Security Council spokesman, whereas discussing the newest intelligence, mentioned the US is “deeply concerned by the evidence that Russia is advancing its plan for significant military action against Ukraine.”
“The Biden administration has been consistent in our message to Russia: the United States does not seek conflict, and diplomacy and de-escalation are the best ways to avert crisis and a negative spiral in the wider relationship,” an NSC spokesperson mentioned. ” ,
Speaking in parliament on Friday, the Ukrainian protection minister described Russia as a tactic utilizing waves of navy buildup, gathering its troops close to Ukraine’s borders after which pulling them again to their everlasting bases, permitting Equipment lags behind – thereby decreasing the time required for deployment. ,
“In April and September this year, Russia pulled 50 battalion tactical groups to our borders. Currently, 41 battalion tactical groups are preparing for war around Ukraine and in temporarily occupied Crimea. 33 of these are permanent bases and eight are additionally transferred to Crimea. The total number of troops in Russia, as well as in temporarily occupied territories that could be used for growth, is now estimated at 94,300 people. , ”mentioned Oleksiy Reznikov.
CNN’s Matthew Chance, Jim Sciutto, Natasha Bertrand, Sarah Fortinsky and DJ Judd contributed to this report.