U.S. intelligence discovered that Russia is plotting a military assault against Ukraine with 175,000 soldiers near the border as early as January, according to an intelligence report by The Washington Post.
The obtained report points to a Russian plan to deploy 175,000 soldiers to the border with Ukraine by early 2022. The report also features satellite images of the military buildup.
According to the document, Moscow has “newly arrived” artillery and tanks. They have also deployed 50 battlefield tactical units. The buildup is currently happening in four separate locations along the border, according to the report.
“The Russian plans call for a military offensive against Ukraine as early as early 2022 with forces two times the size of Moscow’s snap exercise adjacent to Ukraine’s borders,” an administration official reported. “The plans involve extensive movement of 100 battalion tactical groups with an estimated 175,000 personnel, along with armor, artillery, and equipment.”
An intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed the number of troops to The Associated Press. The document added that nearly half of the 175,000 troops are already deployed along several locations on the Russia-Ukraine border.
The U.S. estimates 70,000 Russian soldiers on the ground at the current time.
A top Ukrainian intelligence official told the Military Times in November that Moscow was plotting an invasion into Ukraine by late January.
Aside from the military buildup, the Pentagon official said that Russia has launched a propaganda campaign against both Ukraine and NATO.
“Additionally, in the past month, our information indicates Russian influence proxies and media outlets have started to increase content denigrating Ukraine and NATO, in part to pin the blame for a potential Russian military escalation on Ukraine,” the administration official said.