- According to an assessment by the US intelligence services, Russia’s preparations for a possible invasion of Ukraine are already well advanced.
- About 70 percent of the troops that Russia needs for a “large-scale invasion” are now ready, according to American media – which refer to the secret services.
- In the event of an invasion, the US government expects many civilian and military casualties.
- According to media reports, the US secret services also emphasized that Putin had not yet decided on an offensive.
Should Russian troops invade Ukraine, between 25,000 and 50,000 people could die among the Ukrainian civilian population alone. This is reported by American media, including the “New York Times”, citing unnamed high-ranking US government officials. According to their assessment, the Ukrainian military would have to reckon with up to 25,000 dead, while on the Russian side up to 10,000 casualties can be assumed.
In addition, an invasion of Russian troops in the neighboring country would trigger a wave of refugees. Most of the up to five million refugees would move to Poland.
Possible invasion in the second half of February?
The Russian military has already deployed around 70 percent of the forces that experts believe would be necessary for a complete occupation of Ukraine. The second half of February was seen as a possible time for the invasion – after the end of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. By then, the ground in Ukraine would have hardened due to frost, it was said – and the preparations for a possible invasion would have been completed.
However, according to media reports referring to US secret services, it is not yet clear whether Vladimir Putin has made a final decision about an invasion. The Russian President simply wants to keep all options open.