| 13 April 2024, Saturday |

US intel suggests Russia plans to invade Ukraine: Reports

Citing sources familiar with the discussions, US intelligence shows that Russia has built up troops and artillery to prepare for a rapid, large-scale push into Ukraine from multiple locations
A report by Bloomberg indicates that the US shared intelligence which included maps with its European allies.
Over the past week, some NATO members have received this intelligence that supports US concerns about Putin’s intentions as well as an increasingly frantic diplomatic effort to deter him from any incursion.
The American assessment suggests that Putin is considering an invasion next year.
A scenario is presented where troops, with about 100 battalion tactical groups, cross into Ukraine from Crimea, Russia, and Belarus.
About 100,000 soldiers could be deployed for what is described as an operation in rough terrain and freezing conditions. Allegedly it would cover an extensive territory. The forces, according to this scenario would be prepared for an occupation that could last for months or even years.
Moscow is also reported to have called up tens of thousands of reservists, a number unheard of since the collapse of the Soviet Union. In any conflict, reservists are sent to secure territory in a later phase after tactical battalions have made their way. However, so far, Russia hasn’t announced any big call-ups of reservists.
It was also reported that the US had shared information about an exponential rise in disinformation targeted at Kyiv as well as the fact that Moscow had recruited agents for the purpose of sowing destabilisation inside Ukraine.
Last week, Putin denied any intentions to invade but welcomed the alarm as proof that it had drawn the attention of the United States and its allies, which he charged had not taken Russia’s “red lines” over Ukraine seriously enough.
However, it’s not certain war will happen, or that Putin is serious about starting one.
Earlier this month, US secretary of state Antony Blinken said he has “real concerns about Russia’s unusual military activity”.
“We don’t know what President Putin’s intentions are. But we do know what’s happened in the past. We know the playbook of trying to cite some illusory provocation from Ukraine or any other country and using that as an excuse for what Russia plans to do all along,” Blinken remarked.