Russian forces at 70% of level needed for full Ukraine invasion, U.S. officials say

Sunday - 06/02/2022 07:15
In the last two weeks, the number of battalion tactical groups in the border region has risen to 83 from 60 as of Friday and 14 more are in transit, the officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the information.
T-72B3 tanks of the tank force of the Russian Western Military District conduct field firing at Kadamovsky Range, Russia, Feb. 3, 2022. Erik Romanenko | TASS | Getty Images
T-72B3 tanks of the tank force of the Russian Western Military District conduct field firing at Kadamovsky Range, Russia, Feb. 3, 2022. Erik Romanenko | TASS | Getty Images

Russia has in place about 70% of the combat power it believes it would need for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and is sending more battalion tactical groups to the border with its neighbor, two U.S. officials said on Saturday.

In the last two weeks, the number of battalion tactical groups in the border region has risen to 83 from 60 as of Friday and 14 more are in transit, the officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the information.

As to the timing of an invasion, the ground is expected to reach peak freeze around Feb. 15, the officials said, allowing for off-road mechanized transit by Russian military units. Such conditions would continue until the end of March.

That timeline and the growing number and capability of Russian forces close to Ukraine could suggest the window for diplomacy is shutting.

The U.S. officials did not provide evidence to back up their estimates of Russia’s forces.

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