Amid rising tensions in the area, the United States has warned that Russia may invade Ukraine “any day.” President Joe Biden told reporters on Thursday that the risk is now “extremely high.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken pushed Moscow on Thursday to commit to no invasion in urgent statements to the UN Security Council.
According to U.S. sources, more than 150,000 Russian soldiers are massed near Ukraine’s borders. While the Kremlin and Putin claim that some soldiers have started to evacuate, Biden informed reporters that additional Russian military had come in, contrary to Moscow’s assurances.
Putin’s intentions for his former Soviet neighbor are still out in the air.
Despite Russia’s denials, the US and NATO continue to insist on excluding Ukraine from joining their military alliances.
U.S. officials tell ABC News that 40 to 50 percent of Russia’s forces are stationed in “attack positions” near the Ukraine-Russia border.
According to the official, there are around 150,000 soldiers stationed along the border, including 125 BTGs (Battalion Tactical Group).
Approximately 750 to 1,000 people are on board each of these BTGs, which are particularly designed for battle. Officials said they have the capacity necessary to carry out a military mission.
The co-anchor of ABC’s “This Week”, Martha Raddatz, was told by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has a wide range of choices at his disposal.
He said during the interview that “This is not a bluff”.
“I think he’s assembled the right kinds of things that you would need to conduct a successful invasion,” Austin added.