Ukraine's Security and Defense Council Secretary says Russia has not enough troops at the border to invade Ukraine
Russian troops remain camped near Ukraine’s border, but there is no sign of an impending invasion by Moscow’s forces, Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s Security and Defence Council told news agency Reuters on Dec. 16.
As of today Russia has amassed some 100,000 troops at the frontier, but the Kremlin would need many more soldiers if it were to invade Ukraine, Danilov said.
Danilov said that following the video call between U.S. President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Dec. 7, the Kremlin has increased the number of troops massed near Ukraine.
“But (the number) is not critical enough for us to say: ‘This is it–an invasion is going to happen now,’” he said.
According to Danilov, Russia would need at least 500,000-600,000 soldiers at the border “in order to keep the situation under control in the event of an offensive.”
The Kremlin could increase troops numbers very quickly at any moment, but it would need more than 24 hours to bring more soldiers to the border to mount an invasion, Danilov said.
“Kyiv hopes the West will help us with weapons supplies in such an event.” he said.
Earlier, during a report to the Ukrainian parliament on Dec. 3, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said that Russia had deployed about 100,000 troops near the borders of Ukraine and in the Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine. The Russian military are on full alert and may be used to escalate the situation, Reznikov said. He also did not rule out a possible Russian invasion.
U.S. and European officials have expressed concern over the situation on Ukraine’s eastern border, and G7 foreign ministers issued an official statement on Dec. 12 warning the Kremlin that there would be “massive consequences and a severe cost” if Russia carried out further military aggression against Ukraine.
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.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Dec.10 that during their latest conversation, Biden had told him that Russia would not escalate the conflict in Ukraine.
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