Little optimism after the summit: Russia is moving helicopters to the Ukrainian border

Little optimism after the summit
Russia moves helicopters to the Ukrainian border

The US and several Europeans warn Russia against invading Ukraine. The Kremlin continues to pull troops to the border with Crimea – and now more and more vehicles and airplanes. However, a Russian invasion also depends on the temperatures.

After the crisis talks with the USA failed to bring a breakthrough, Russia is now relocating heavy equipment to the Ukrainian border. Fighter planes, transport helicopters and helicopters are said to have been stationed there, according to a report in the “New York Times”. The Kremlin had previously deployed almost 100,000 Russian soldiers on the Ukrainian border.

According to the report, the fighter jets and helicopters would be a key asset should Russia launch an invasion. Ukraine recently demanded “massive military support” from Germany. According to the report, Vladimir Putin’s time window is limited and dependent on the temperatures. For a quick offensive, the Russian vehicles would need frozen ground, the spring temperatures from March onwards would create “muddy swamps” in many places. The mild winter has so far slowed the freezing of the soil, and temperatures are not expected to fall again until February.

The US and several Europeans are warning of an invasion of Ukraine. Russia, which annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in 2014, has denied invasion plans. While the US is calling for Russian troops to be withdrawn from the border, Russia insists that NATO promises not to include Ukraine in the military alliance and not to expand further east.

No rapprochement in the Ukraine crisis

The first round of talks with the USA about the security guarantees demanded by Moscow had not yet given a complete picture of “where we stand with the Americans,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov in Moscow, according to the Interfax agency. “In the next few days you will understand in which direction you are moving and whether it makes sense.”

Representatives of Russia and the USA met in Geneva on Monday. Even after several hours of talks, there was no rapprochement regarding the Ukraine crisis. On Wednesday, talks between Russia and NATO in Brussels should also be about a possible troop withdrawal. Russia’s chief negotiator is Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko. “We will seek a concrete and substantive response to the Russian draft security agreement,” he said. Peskow once again warned against dragging out the talks. But there is no time frame. “No, there is no clear deadline.” After talks with NATO, talks are scheduled for Thursday at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna.

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