Russian forces at 70% of the level required to invade Ukraine


Two US officials said Russia now has about 70% of the combat power it believes is needed for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and is sending more tactical battalion groups to the border with his neighbour.

The two officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the information, told Reuters that over the past two weeks the number of tactical battalion groups in the border area has increased from 60 to 83. Friday, and 14 other groups are currently in the transfer process.

As for the timing of the invasion, the two officials said, the ground should reach freezing point around February 15, allowing Russian military units to cross the rugged roads. These conditions will continue until the end of March.

This timetable, together with the increase in the number and capabilities of Russian forces near Ukraine's borders, could signal the closing of the diplomatic window.

The two US officials provided no evidence to support their estimates of the size of the Russian forces.

With Russia mustering more than 100,000 troops near the border, it denies plans to invade Ukraine, but could take military action if its security demands are not met. 

These demands include Ukraine's refusal to join NATO in the future, a request the alliance and the United States have called unacceptable.

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