Large-scale Russian attack on Ukraine unlikely
German Ambassador to Ukraine Anka Feldhusen has said a large-scale Russian military operation against Ukraine is unlikely, Germany’s Deutsche Welle public broadcaster reported on Dec. 23.
In an e-mail addressing the citizens of Germany, she said that “the clear words of European politicians and timely coordination sent the right signals to Moscow.”
Feldhusen claimed no significant buildup of Russian troops had been observed near the Ukrainian border in recent weeks.
“Therefore, I believe the possibility of a large-scale offensive from the Russian side is unlikely,” she said.
“It is important to be calm, prudent and vigilant in this situation,” Feldhusen said.
Feldhusen’s statements contradict those of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Dec. 21, During a meeting in Brussels, Belgium with Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca, Stoltenberg said Russia’s military buildup on Ukraine’s borders was continuing.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov said on Dec. 22 that Russia had around 120,000 troops within 200 kilometers of Ukraine’s border.
Less than a month ago, in early December, about 100,000 Russian soldiers were deployed near the Russian-Ukrainian border and in the temporarily occupied territories in the Donbas, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov told the Ukrainian parliament on Dec. 3.
International media have speculated that Russia may invade Ukraine in early 2022, an operation that could involve up to 200,000 Russian soldiers.
Both U.S. and European officials have expressed concern over the situation. U.S. President Joe Biden has announced that the White House is working out “the most comprehensive and meaningful set of initiatives to make it very, very difficult for (Russian President Vladimir) Putin to go ahead and do what people are worried he may do.”
During his talks with Putin on Dec. 7, Biden “made it clear the United States and its allies will respond with decisive economic and other measures in the case of a military escalation,” the White House said.
According to Reznikov, Russia continued the buildup of its troops after the Biden-Putin talks.
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