According to Friday’s report, Russia has plans for a military offensive against Ukraine that will involve an estimated 175,000 soldiers. This could start as soon as 2022. 

The Washington Post obtained unclassified intelligence documents that showed satellite images showing troop and equipment built up at the Ukraine border. 

Photos from June were taken around Yelnya near the north border of Russia and Ukraine. Five Battalion Tactical Groups were (BTGs) in place as of November 9th, photos show.

Similar scenes took place near the Russian-Ukrainian border in Crimea, 2014. This was before Russia seize the Black Sea strategic port.

According to an official from the administration, “Russian plans” call for a military assault against Ukraine in early 2022. The scale of force required will be twice that seen this spring at Russia’s short exercise close to Ukraine’s borders. 

A satellite photo released on November 1 by Maxar Technologies shows troops gathering near the town of Yelnya. Washington's warning comes as Putin masses his forces close to Ukrainian territory, with satellite images like this taken in the last few weeks showing large camps of tanks and artillery pieces in the region

Maxar Technologies released a satellite image on November 1, showing troops gathered near Yelnya. Washington warns Putin as he masses his forces near Ukrainian territory. These satellite images, taken within the last few weeks, show large concentrations of tanks and artillery in the region.

Ukraine warns there are now some 94,000 Russian soldiers near its border, where it has been fighting a years-long insurgency in its eastern regions by Russian-backed separatists

Ukraine claims that there are currently 94,000 Russian soldiers close to its border. This is where the country has been fighting an encroachment in its eastern region for years by Russian-backed separatists.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, is seen on Thursday. He has long accused the West of provocation with their open invitation for Ukraine to join NATO

The Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen in public on Thursday. With their invite for Ukraine to NATO, Putin long accuses the West.

“The plans include extensive movement of 100 tactical battalion units with an estimated 175,000 personnel. 

According to Ukrainian estimates, Russia is home to approximately 94,000 soldiers near its border. The United States believes that number may be closer at 70,000.

Officials in the US expect a 175,000 increase, but warn there will be substantial movement of battalion tactical units to and from border to ‘obfuscate intentions’ and create uncertainty. 

“Equipment might be left behind at various training ranges in order to facilitate a rapid and final buildup,” the document says. 

After leaving the White House in preparation for Camp David’s opening, President Joe Biden stated: “We have been alert to Russia’s actions for some time. My expectation is that we will continue our discussion.” 

Russian state media on Friday released footage of the military drills, including sniper training, taking place on the Ukrainian border

Russian state media published footage on Friday of military drills and sniper training that took place at the Ukrainian frontier.

Russian soldiers have been pictured conducting sniper exercises, believed to involve 700 gunmen, with servicemen lying on the ground in snowy conditions

Russian soldiers are seen performing sniper exercise with 700-gunmen and servicemen on the ground, in snowy conditions.

Russian military personnel were filmed training with rocket-propelled grenade launchers amid heightened tensions over the build up of more than 94,000 soldiers on the border with Ukraine

Russian military personnel were captured training with rocket-propelled bomber launchers in the midst of tensions about the rise in more than 94,000 Ukrainian soldiers at the Ukraine border.

He said that he would not accept any red line from Putin, which is for Ukraine to join NATO. 

Putin declared this week that Russia needed ‘precise, legal, and judicial safeguards’ as Western partners have failed to fulfill verbal promises.

According to him, a specific agreement should ‘exclude any eastward expansion by NATO or the deployment of weapon systems that pose a threat for us on Russian territory’. 

The Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Sergei Lavrov met on Thursday.

Moscow was warned by Blinken about the “severe” costs Russia will incur if it invades Ukraine. He urged his Russian counterpart to exit the crisis on Thursday.

Anthony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State, is seen meeting Russia's Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, in Stockholm on Thursday

Anthony Blinken is seen with Sergei Lavrov (Russia’s Foreign Ministry) in Stockholm, Thursday, April 12.

Russian troops are seen on October 18 carrying out exercises in Crimea. Crimea, seized from Ukraine by Russia in 2014, is one of the areas where the U.S. officials believe there to be troop build up. In the photo, a BTR-82A armored personnel carrier lands from a large landing ship during an exercise in amphibious landing on an unimproved shore held by army corps and naval infantry units of the Russian Black Sea Fleet at the Opuk range. Over 8,000 servicemen and about 350 items of military hardware and weaponry took part in the drill

Russian troops can be seen conducting drills in Crimea on 18 October. The U.S. believes there is troop buildup in Crimea. It was seized by Russia from Ukraine in 2014. A BTR-82A armored personnel car lands on a large land ship in an amphibious landing exercise. It was landed from an improved shore that is held by the Opuk Range’s army corps and naval infantry unit. This drill involved more than 8,000 soldiers and approximately 350 military equipment and weapons.

Blinken gave the warning to Russian Foreign Minister in what he described as a “candid” meeting in Stockholm. He said that it was probable that Biden would soon speak with Vladimir Putin. 

After the meeting, Blinken stated that he had made clear his deep concern and determination to hold Russia accountable for its actions. He also pledged to collaborate with European allies in imposing severe consequences and costs on Russia if it continues aggressively against Ukraine.

“Russia must de-escalate tensions, reverse troop buildups and restore forces to normal positions. They should also refrain from any further intimidation or attempts destabilize Ukraine.

Lavrov said to reporters that Moscow was open for dialogue with Kyiv when he spoke with Blinken. 

“We do not desire any conflict,” he stated. 

Blinken, before the meeting, stated: ‘We don’t know whether President Putin has made the decision to invade. 

“We are aware that he’s putting together the capability to do this in a short time should he choose.” 

“We need to be ready for every eventuality.” 

According to a Biden administration official speaking to Associated Press, the new intelligence finding was published Friday and estimates that about half of Russian personnell have been deployed at various locations near Ukraine’s borders.

Russian and Belarusian troops take part in the Zapad-2021 military exercise in the Brest region of Belarus on September 14

Russian and Belarusian soldiers take part in Zapad-2021, a military exercise that took place in Brest in Belarus on September 14.

A Belarus and Russian joint tactical group of Su-30SM fighters patrols the Belarussian borders with NATO countries on November 30

On November 30, a joint Russian-Belarus tactical force of Su-30SM fighters patrolled the Belarussian border with NATO nations.

The Novorossiysk (L) and Caesar Kunikov large landing ships take part in an exercise in amphibious landing on an unimproved shore in Crimea in October

Caesar Kunikov and the Novorossiysk large landing vessels take part in an amphibious landing exercise on a unimproved beach in Crimea, October

The Saratov large landing ship and Mil Mi-8AMTSh helicopters are seen during the Crimea exercises, in October

During the Crimea exercises in October, you can see both the Saratov large landing vessel and Mil Mi-8AMTSh Helicopters.

An air assault group lands during an exercise in amphibious landing in Crimea in October

A group of air attack aircraft lands in Crimea during an amphibious landing exercise. This was in October.

Russia is imposing its demands upon Biden in order to ensure that Ukraine cannot join NATO.

According to an official, intelligence officials have noticed an increase in Russian media outlets and proxies used by Russian information operations ahead of possible invasions.

Biden earlier on Friday pledged to make it “very difficult” for Putin, to engage in military action against Ukraine.

His administration will be launching new initiatives to counter Russian aggression, he stated.

Biden said that his goal was to create what he believes will be the most complete and meaningful collection of initiatives in order to make it extremely difficult for Putin, according to reporters.

On Friday, the Kremlin stated that Putin will seek to obtain binding guarantees preventing NATO from expanding into Ukraine in the meeting with Biden.

Even further, the Ukrainian defense minister warned that Russia might invade Ukraine next month.

On Friday, Oleksii Reznikov, the Ukrainian Defense Minister, told Congress that Russia has 94,300 troops in Ukraine. He also warned that there could be a large-scale escalation in January. 

According to a Ukrainian official, military drills earlier in the year were used as rehearsals for invasion.

“Russian troops solved the problems of setting up strike groups close to the border of our state and mobilization steps, as well logistical support for groups. [and]According to an official, there was a transfer of large military contingents (including by air) from Russia to Ukraine’s border. 

Since Biden’s election, relations between Russia and the United States have been turbulent.

Apart from the Ukraine matter, the Biden administration has imposed sanctions against Russian targets. It also called out President Vladimir Putin over Kremlin interference with U.S. Elections, cyberactivity targeting U.S. Businesses, and how Alexei Navalny was treated. He was later poisoned, then imprisoned.

Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov told lawmakers on Friday that intelligence from the border shows 'the possibility of a large-scale escalation from Russia exists'

On Friday, Oleksii Reznikov, Ukrainian Defense Minister, told parliament that intelligence at the border indicates a ‘possibility of large-scale Russian escalation’

President Joe Biden, seen on Friday, is likely to speak soon to Vladimir Putin, the U.S. Secretary of State said on Thursday in Stockholm

According to the U.S. Secretary-of State, Joe Biden will likely speak to Vladimir Putin soon, as he was photographed on Friday.

Biden and Putin met face-to-face in Geneva, June.

Signs are that both the White House and Kremlin may be close to organizing a meeting between Biden, Putin next week. 

Yuri Ushakov (Putin’s adviser for foreign affairs) told reporters Friday that plans had been made for a Putin/Biden phone call within the next days. The date would be revealed after Washington and Moscow have finalized details. 

Russians claim that a date was agreed on, but they declined to specify when.

According to an unnamed source close to the Ukrainian president, Biden has tentatively accepted a phone call with Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine.

Jen Psaki White House Press Secretary said that officials from the administration have “engaged in a possibility” of an Obama-Biden call.  

Psaki spoke out about a potential Biden/Putin conversation, saying that it would offer an opportunity to raise serious concerns over the bellicose rhetoric at the border of Ukraine and about the military buildup.

Biden didn’t give details about the actions that he was considering. 

Lavrov threatened to impose new sanctions if the United States takes any action. 

Lavrov declared, “If the new sanctions from Hell’ arrive, we will reply.” 

We can’t ignore to reply.

Psaki stated that the administration will coordinate with European allies in case it moves forward with sanctions. 

As the White House contemplates how to move forward, she noted the bitter memories from Russia’s 2014 annexe of Crimea. This was the Black Sea Peninsula that Ukraine had held since 1954.

Psaki claimed that “We know the history of President Putin’s actions.” 

“We are able to see that he’s putting together the capability to quickly take action.”

At the Blinken-Lavrov conference, deep differences were displayed. A Russian official charged the West with ‘playing in fire’ and denying Russia any say in NATO expansions into the countries of former Soviet Union. 

Zelenskyy pushed Ukraine to join the alliance. However, the promises of membership have not been fulfilled and a timetable has yet to be established.

Blinken said this week that the U.S. had’made it very clear to the Kremlin’ that they would respond with “resolutely”, including using a variety of economic and high-impact measures we have largely avoided in the past.

Although he did not specify what sanctions were under consideration, a possible option could include removing Russia from SWIFT’s international payment system. 

A non-binding resolution was approved by the European Union Parliament in April that would have barred Russia from SWIFT, if it invades Ukraine.

Such an action would effectively block Russian business from global financial markets. 

Western allies were reportedly open to such a move in 2014/2015, when tensions rose over Ukraine under Russian leadership.

Dmitry Medvedev (then-Russian prime minister) said that such a move would be tantamount a “declaration of war.”