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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

US Intel Accuses Russia of Planning 'Multi-Front Offensive' Against Ukraine as Early as 2022

Sputnik News

Gaby Arancibia

Over the last several weeks, tensions have remained high between the US and Russia as American authorities have accused Moscow of laying the groundwork for a potential invasion of neighbouring Ukraine. The Kremlin has repeatedly rejected the unsubstantiated claims.

Newly surfaced US intel reports have accused Russia of planning a "multi-front offensive" against Ukraine sometime within the next year, a charge that marks the latest claim pinned to the Kremlin amid weeks of heightened tensions.

Citing sources and a US intelligence document, The Washington Post reported late Friday that planning is allegedly underway by Moscow for a military offensive as early as 2022 that will include up to 175,000 troops.

An unidentified source with knowledge of the sensitive information alleged to the outlet that Russian forces would be "twice what we saw this past spring during Russia's snap exercise near Ukraine's borders".

"The plans involve extensive movement of 100 battalion tactical groups with an estimated 175,000 personnel, along with armour, artillery, and equipment", the source claimed.

The source later indicated that the intelligence report, based on satellite images, alleges that Russian forces are grouping in four locations along the Ukrainian border and are fitted out with "newly arrived" tanks and artillery.

It was also reported in the intel document that Russian troops are strategically leaving military equipment behind at training facilities "to enable a rapid, final buildup" of troops against Ukraine.

The intel findings come days after reports also detailed that US officials had shared maps with European allies that marked the areas in which an alleged Russian troop "buildup" was taking place along the Ukrainian border. That same report purported that a "rapid, large-scale push into Ukraine" was potentially in the works.

Earlier on Friday, US President Joe Biden touched on the Russian invasion claims and relayed to reporters that he would be preparing a "set of initiatives" along with his national security team to effectively make it more difficult for Russian President Vladimir Putin to move troops toward Ukraine. The commentary itself came as Biden is due to speak with Putin in the coming week.

Speaking with White House reporters as he prepared to depart for his weekend trip to Camp David, the US commander-in-chief further stated that he would be having a "long discussion" with his Russian counterpart, and added that he would not accept "anybody's red lines".

Russia has repeatedly rejected any assertion that it is planning to invade Ukraine, with Putin previously calling the "buildup" reports "alarmist". More recently, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov underscored that the current allegations are "hysteria being whipped up artificially".

© Sputnik

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