The United States sees signs that Russia is planning an invasion of Ukraine in early 2022

U.S. officials believe Russia is planning a multi-front military invasion of Ukraine involving as many as 175,000 troops as soon as early in 2022, Fox News has confirmed.

A senior U.S. defense attorney told Fox News that the details of a report Friday night by The Washington Post are in line with the thinking of U.S. intelligence officers.

The United States takes the latest signals from the Kremlin very seriously and does not consider the case a scam, Fox News was told.

Russia already has about 100,000 troops stationed along the border with Ukraine, the defense officer said.

When asked about the report on Friday, President Biden promised that the United States would make it “very, very difficult” for Russian President Vladimir Putin to implement the plan, the Associated Press reported.

NATO chief warns RUSSIA AGAINST INVASION OF UKRAINE

“We have been aware of Russia’s actions for a long time, and my expectation is that we will have a long discussion with Putin,” Biden told reporters later as he prepared to leave Washington for a weekend visit to the presidential retreat in Camp. . David, Maryland.

“We have been aware of Russia’s actions for a long time and my expectation is that we will have a long discussion with Putin.”

– President Biden

President Biden says he expects Ukraine to be a central topic of discussion between himself and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
(Fox News Photo Illustration)

In previous comments, Biden told reporters that his administration had planned new initiatives aimed at deterring Russian aggression, according to the AP.

“What I am doing is putting together what I think is going to be, the most comprehensive and meaningful set of initiatives to make it very, very difficult for Mr Putin to go ahead and do what people are worried about. that he can do. ” said Biden.

According to the Post report, the planned Ukraine offensive for 2022 would involve about double the number of Russian troops participating in a military exercise near the border with Ukraine last spring.

“The plans involve extensive movements of 100 battalion tactical groups with an estimated 175,000 crew along with armor, artillery and equipment,” a Biden administration official requesting anonymity told the newspaper.

“The plans involve extensive movement of 100 battalion tactical groups with an estimated 175,000 crew along with armor, artillery and equipment.”

US official speaks to The Washington Post

The Post reported that it had seized an unclassified U.S. intelligence document that included satellite images and collections of Russian troops at four locations that U.S. officials saw as evidence of a planned offensive.

During a trip to Europe earlier this week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States had discovered “evidence that Russia has made plans for significant aggressive moves against Ukraine,” the Post reported.

The Post’s Biden administration source told the newspaper that officials in Washington had been disturbed earlier in his year over a sudden mobilization of Russian reserve troops and a supposed escalation in Moscow’s rhetoric about Ukraine.

‘Everything unforeseen’

In remarks this week, a day before the meeting with his Russian counterpart, Blinken claimed that Putin was preparing to have the ability to quickly invade Ukraine, whether he planned to or not – and said the United States should be ready both ways .

“We have to prepare for all the incidents,” Blinken said, according to the Post.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who met with Blinken in Sweden, pointed out that US military equipment and activity is getting closer to Russia’s borders.

“The nightmare scenario of military confrontation is returning,” Lavrov said, according to the Post.

“The nightmare scenario of military confrontation returns.”

– Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will be seen in Moscow on November 30, 2021.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will be seen in Moscow on November 30, 2021.
(Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service via AP)

The Russian official also warned Washington that any sanctions were intended

Putin’s demands

Lavrov’s comments reflected frequent concerns raised by Putin about US and NATO activity near Russia. The Russian president has called on the West to “rule out any further eastern enlargement of NATO and the deployment of weapons systems that pose a threat to us in the immediate vicinity of Russia’s territory.”

Biden quickly rejected Putin’s demands when asked about them on Friday, the AP reported.

“I do not accept anyone’s red line,” the president said.

“I do not accept anyone’s red line.”

– President Biden

President Biden will speak at the White House on October 4, 2021.

President Biden will speak at the White House on October 4, 2021.
(Associated Press)

In late November, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned Russia that any attempt to invade Ukraine would be costly for Moscow.

“If Russia uses force against Ukraine, which will have costs, it will have consequences,” Stoltenberg said ahead of a meeting with NATO foreign ministers in Latvia, November 30-December. 1. He did not say what those costs would be.

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Biden’s personal history, which involves Ukraine, includes his recognized role in the ouster of Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin in 2016, when Biden was vice president.

It was former President Donald Trump’s later investigations into Ukraine’s involvement with Biden and his son Hunter Biden that eventually led to the House Democrats suing Trump over a phone call with a leader in Ukraine. The Senate later acquitted Trump in this federal lawsuit and another separate federal lawsuit that followed.

Critics say the Obama administration was caught flat-footed in 2014 when Russia invaded Ukraine shortly after the end of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin and The Associated Press contributed to this story.