A massive buildup on the Ukrainian border in the last 48 hours has seen Russia double its troop levels with 17 additional battalions and has left Western leaders trying to figure out what President Vladimir Putin is planning to do next.
On Tuesday, the Russian President called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to resolve the “humanitarian crisis” in Ukraine that has reportedly left tens of thousands of people displaced because of fighting over the last several months, a move that some in the West see as prelude to a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“We are convening an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine,” Russian Ambassador to the U.N. Vitaly Churkin was quoted as saying.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the U.N. and the International Committee of the Red Cross expressed “readiness” to discuss its plan to deploy a “humanitarian mission” to Ukraine, which some consider to be a pretext for an invasion by Russian forces.
Russia has significantly built up its troop presence along the Ukrainian border in recent weeks, according to U.S. officials, making it ready for a potential large-scale invasion of southeastern Ukraine if Russian President Vladimir Putin so chooses.
According to a report in The New York Times, Russia has nearly doubled its troop presence along the border, adding 17 battalions and 19,000 to 21,000 troops who now compose a “battle-ready force of infantry, armor, artillery, and air defense within a few miles of the border.”
The White House has openly worried about what would be, for all intents and purposes, an invasion under the guise of a “peacekeeping” operation.
“We’ve seen a significant re-buildup of Russian forces along the border, potentially positioning Russia for a so-called humanitarian or peacekeeping intervention in Ukraine,” deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken said last week.
“That’s a very real option,” a senior Defense Department official told The Times. “And should Putin decide, he could do that with little or no notice. We just don’t know what he’s thinking.”
Source: Business Insider
It should be clear exactly what Vladimir Putin is thinking.
He’s thinking he can send his troops over the border and no one in Europe or the United States will have the will or fortitude to stop it. And, given the foreign policy failures of the United States over the last five years, he’s probably right.
After heavy sanctions that threaten to seize the asset of Russian politicians and businessmen, and a direct attack on Russia’s economy, Vladimir Putin is about to show the world what a Russian response looks like.
The following map, made available by Zero Hedge and generated within the last week, indicates that Russia now has up to 42,000 troops within a few miles of the border with additional units in reserve.
For casual observers, pay attention, because there’s a strong possibility that you are seeing the buildup to the next great war.