The arrival of six Russian land ships has led to speculation that they may be heading for an imminent ‘full-scale invasion’ of Ukraine. This is despite the fact that President Putin’s buildup of troops at the border was ‘nearly complete’, according to Kiev.
Russia’s Baltic Fleet vessels the Korolev, Minsk and Kaliningrad were today sailing south past the UK followed by Northern Fleet warships Olenegorsky Gornyak, Pyotr Morgunov, and Georgii Pobedonosets which passed the Great Belt Bridge in Denmark on Monday.
These ships can carry 25 armored personnel carriers each. However, it is not clear if the ships are headed for Ukraine.
This region is on a knife edge since last year’s end when Moscow deployed 100,000 troops and tanks close to the border.
Yesterday’s intelligence assessment by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry indicated that Russia has gathered more than 127,000 soldiers along its border with a component and sea force.
CNN obtained the assessment and it warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to’split and weaken NATO and the European Union’. It also warned of a ‘limitation in the United States’ ability to secure the European continent.
This stark warning is issued after Russia and the West failed to reach an agreement on the deescalation of the conflict that has been threatening to burst since last year.
The six Russian landing ships, including Minsk (pictured near the Great Belt Bridge of Denmark in Denmark), have been seen sailing past Britain. This has sparked speculation that they could be heading for an impending invasion of Ukraine.
The Northern Fleet warships Olenegorsky Gurnyak Pyotr Mogunov (pictured), and Georgii Pebedonosets made their way through Denmark’s Great Belt Bridge on Monday.
A map showing the route the six landing ships could possibly be taking from Russia’s second Baltic Sea base Kronstadt to Ukraine ahead of a ‘full-scale invasion’
On Monday, Georgii Pobedonosets of the Northern Fleet passes under the Great Belt Bridge at Denmark. He is joined by five other vessels. It has led to speculation that these ships are headed for a ‘full scale invasion’ in Ukraine.
Amphibious assault ship Kaliningrad was spotted sailing through the Great Belt Bridge in Denmark on Monday, days before Kiev warned President Putin had ‘nearly completed’ the build-up of troops along the border
Russia’s Northern Fleet warship Olenegorsky Gornyak passes through the Great Belt Bridge in Denmark on Monday as fears rise about a possible invasion of Ukraine by Moscow following a months-long troop build-up along the border
Russia’s Baltic Fleet vessel the Korolev was seen passing through the Great Belt Bridge in Denmark on Monday after two rounds of last ditch talks between the West and Russia failed to de-escalate the conflict which has threatened to bubble over since late last year
Moscow declared the “successful” completion of testing on the Kinzhal, or Dagger, hypersonic missiles. The missiles can carry either conventional weapons or nuclear weaponry with a range between 1,250 and 1,250 miles.
Moscow announced Tuesday that it had completed tests of its Kinzhal (or Dagger) hypersonic missiles at the Barents Sea. However, the weapons were deployed by Russian personnel.
Yesterday, three dozen Russian warplanes, including Su-34 fighter-bombers and Su-25 attack aircraft, flew in training exercises from Perm, Krasnoyarsksksksksksksksksksksksksksksks and Sverdlovsk areas.
Three dozen Russian warplanes, which included Su-34 fighter-bombers, Su-25 fighter-attack aircraft and MiG-31 fighter-interceptors, flew yesterday from Perm and Krasnoyarsk.
In a large-scale exercise involving 500 soldiers, they hit the targets of a “simulated enemy”.
In the Black Sea the Kasimov antisubmarine boat’successfully demolished’ sea and air targets using artillery fire under storm conditions in a naval exercise.
A missile regiment with S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missiles was stationed in the Western Military District. They conducted electronic launches at Leningrad’s region.
Moscow declared the completion of its tests on the Kinzhal, or Dagger, hypersonic missiles. The weapons are capable of carrying nuclear and conventional weapons up to 1,250miles.
This week, the Kremlin sent servicemen to Belarus. It sparked fears among neighbouring Lithuania.
Arvydas anusauskas, Lithuania’s Defence Minister, stated today that the Russian arrival in Belarus is a threat not only to the security of Lithuania but also to the country’s stability.
Alexander Fomin (Russian deputy Defense Minister) confirmed that this mission involves the relocation of S-400 mobile surface-to-air ballistic missile battalions and a Pantsir-S brigade, as well as 12 Su-35 fighters to perform’surprise’ inspections and drills.
A new video has emerged showing that Russian military equipment is still being loaded onto Siberia trains, ready to travel thousands of kilometers to the west. It could also be used to transport the newly formed massing to Belarus. Belarus shares border with Ukraine and three NATO members.
According to Ukraine’s intelligence, Moscow sent troops across the border to support its offensive plans. The report also stated that the border was being manned by ‘permanent’ soldiers. It added that the passage of’stockpiles and field hospitals as well as security services to the hinterlands proved Moscow’s readiness for the operation.
This assessment estimated that there are 35,000 Ukrainian rebels who support Moscow and also suggested Russia may have 3,000 soldiers on Kiev’s borders.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, pictured at the Kremlin during Tuesday’s meeting
After UK defence chiefs yesterday said they were afraid Putin would choose the “nightmare scenario” of an invasion of Ukraine, as tensions escalate towards tipping points.
The White House warned yesterday the situation was ‘extremely dangerous’ and that Moscow could launch an attack ‘at any point’.
It had been thought Mr Putin would choose the ‘simple option’ of sending troops into the Donbass region in south-eastern Ukraine and then negotiate for it to become an independent state, providing a buffer between pro-western Ukraine and Russia.
It was assumed that the area would be easy to resist, as it is currently occupied by proRussian separatists.
The latest intelligence has the Ministry of Defence Chiefs concerned about an even larger invasion, raising concerns of war-engulfing cities as well as high civilian deaths.
The Russians believe that Mr Putin’s troops were positioned to achieve his new goal. They have armoured divisions which will be heading into Belarus for an exercise, but are now located within striking distance from Kiev.
A senior defense source stated last night that they strongly believed in the concept. [Putin’s]A full-scale invasion is preferable to a restricted offensive. It is possible to get as much Ukraine from him as he wants, even though the consequences are the same.
The UK’s Ministry of Defence fears Putin will inflict large-scale warfare engulfing cities and high civilian death tolls (Pictured: A convoy of Russian armoured vehicles moves along a highway in Crimea, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022)
The White House warned yesterday that the situation was ‘extremely dangerous’ (Pictured: Anatoliy, a Ukrainian soldier with the 56th Brigade, in a trench on the front line on January 18, 2022 in Pisky, Ukraine)
Anatolii Petrenko (L), Deputy Minister of Defence of Ukraine attends the UK’s delivery of defensive weapons systems light and anti-armor.
On Tuesday, light, anti-armor and defensive weapons systems supplied by Britain arrived in Kiev, Ukraine amid Russian military buildup at its borders
The Defense Ministry of Ukraine confirms that it received an initial shipment from the United Kingdom with “light anti-tank arms”.
A member of the 503Ã¢d Naval Infantry Battalion stationed in Donbas, Ukraine on January 18, 2022
Yesterday’s warning by the White House was that Russia could launch an attack at any time and placed it in a very dangerous situation.
As it was thought, Putin would opt for the “simple” option of sending troops to the Donbass in southern Ukraine. He then could negotiate for the region’s independence. This would provide a buffer between Russia and pro-western Ukraine.
Members of the 503Ã¢d Naval Infantry Battalion relax and prepare lunch while stationed in Donbas, Ukraine on January 18, 2022
“Also he must not occupy the east regions. He will never be in a position to take the whole country back because of the inevitability strengthening of Ukrainian troops in the remaining parts of Ukraine.
It is a nightmare scenario.
Putin knows that Ukraine is not part of NATO and therefore there won’t be any military reaction from the West.
The US and UK have the same economic sanctions.
US Secretary Of State Antony Blinken will be meeting Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky Wednesday. On Friday, Sergey Lavrov from Russia will attend talks in Geneva.
Jen Psaki (White House Press Secretary) stated, “We view this as an extremely dangerous situation.”
“We are now at the stage when Russia could launch an attack on Ukraine at any time, Secretary Blinken will go to highlight that there is a diplomatic way forward.
It is President Putin’s decision and that of the Russians whether to experience severe economic consequences.
Officials said last week that Russia had deployed agents trained in sabotage and urban warfare to launch a ‘false-flag’ attack on proxy forces, providing the pretext for invasion.
It has also intensified social media campaign portraying Ukraine to be aggressors.
Russia repeatedly denies that it plans an invasion, and demanded instead that NATO ban Ukraine from joining.
Yesterday night, Kiev thanked Britain for its anti-tank weapons logistics and troop deployments as an “important first step” to defend the country.
Two C-17 transporters carrying 2,000 armor-piercing missiles and troops left Britain on Monday.
Vadym Prystaiko (the Ukrainian ambassador to Britain) requested extra support from Western countries.
The Joe Biden administration fears Moscow could launch an attack against Ukraine ‘at any point’ (Pictured: Mykola, a Ukrainian soldier with the 56th Brigade, in a trench on the front line on January 18, 2022 in Pisky, Ukraine)
Russian tanks from the Novorossiysk Guards Mountain Formation participated in maneuvers Friday. This further raised the temperature at the Ukrainian border where there are 100,000 Russian troops.
Russian soldiers prepare to load their military vehicles for the Belarus-Russia joint military drill on 18 January
Belarus Defence Ministry’s press release shows the Russian military vehicle that arrived in Belarus for the Belarusian joint military drill, ‘Union solve 2022’. This was on January 18, 2022. They will take place next month
Moscow is currently massing thousands of soldiers, tanks, and artillery pieces on its eastern flank for several weeks. This has sparked fears about an invasion. However, the Kremlin insists it’s a defense force. (pictured: Russian forces are currently positioned in border areas).
This photo, which was distributed Tuesday by the Belarus Ministry of Defense shows Russian military vehicles arriving at Belarus in preparation for joint exercises
Ukrainian soldiers from the 56th Brigade keep their positions in Pisky’s trenches
“We’re asking for more and expecting more,” Mr. Prystaiko stated to BBC Radio 4’s Today program.
“I don’t mind asking for help to prevent this war.
Russia is not stopped because Putin has achieved enough.
Berlin was more concerned with the threat of sanction and did not respond to Britain’s request for military aid.
“How are we supposed to be allowed to defend ourselves, if we don’t have weapons?” What? Rocks?’ He replied.
Berlin was also criticised by Mr Prystaiko for moving forward with controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will bypass Ukraine.
Critics worry that it could increase Germany’s dependence on Russian energy sources.
Annalena Bärbock, German Foreign Minister said that Russia needs to be reliable in order for Europe to have gas.
Olaf Scholz of Germany, the German Chancellor, stated that he could consider stopping the pipeline from Moscow if necessary.
He was under pressure to adopt a more cautious stance and met with Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO, in Berlin to discuss next steps.
According to Mr Scholz, it is clear there will be high prices and everything must be considered if there’s a military intervention in Ukraine.
On Tuesday, the German government informed journalists that Russia was not being cut off from the international banking system – the so called ‘nuclear alternative’ to sanctions. This angered Washington.
Tensions rose after American officials said that they had information about Moscow’s deployment of resources to support a false flag attack.
Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, warned about human rights violations as well as war crimes in the event that diplomacy fails and Russia continues with its plans.
“We have evidence that Russia has pre-positioned a group operatives for a false flag operation within eastern Ukraine,” she stated.
“The operatives receive training in urban warfare techniques and explosives use to sabotage Russia’s proxy forces.”
It was a playbook that Russia used to annexe the Crimean Peninsula. She also said the intelligence included social media disinformation in order to portray Kiev as the initiator of violence. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesperson said that the intelligence was very credible.
Quickly, the Kremlin denied that it was planning a provocative act. According to the TASS news agency, Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for the Kremlin denied that the report was based upon ‘unfounded information’.
The Defense Ministry of Ukraine said that they were speeding up their plans to create reserve battalions. It would enable them to rapidly deploy 130,000 troops to strengthen its 246,000-strong military forces.
In a gesture of support to former Soviet republics and other countries, Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, visited Latvia yesterday. He told officials the UK stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Baltic state – a Nato ally.
He claimed that all countries are united against Russian aggression.
Royal Air Force Transport Jet arrives in Kiev (Ukraine) with an anti-tank weapon shipment. This is to prevent a Russian attack as Putin masses his troops at the border.
An unloaded pallet of British antitank weapons is taken to Kiev’s airport. It will be handed to the Russian front line troops. This was done in order to prevent an attack from Putin.