The buildup is seen to be reminiscent of Moscow’s military moves before it went into Chechnya and Georgia in both numbers of units and their capabilities. . . .
The committee said there was “deep apprehension that Moscow may invade eastern and southern Ukraine, pressing west to Transdniestria and also seek land grabs in the Baltics.”
Transdniestria is a separatist region of Moldova. . . .
American officials believe the more than 30,000 Russian forces on the border with Ukraine, combined with additional Russian forces placed on alert and mobilized to move, give Russian President Vladimir Putin the ability to rapidly move into Ukraine without the United States being able to predict it when it happens.
The assessment makes several new points including:
Troops on Russia’s border with eastern Ukraine – which exceed 30,000 – are “significantly more” than what is needed for the “exercises” Russia says it has been conducting, and there is no sign the forces are making any move to return to their home bases. . . .
The troops on the border with Ukraine include large numbers of
“motorized” units that can quickly move. Additional special forces, airborne troops, air transport and other units that would be needed appear to be at a higher state of mobilization in other locations in Russia. . . .
The belief is that Russian forces would move toward three Ukrainian cities: Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk in order to establish land access into Crimea. Russian forces are currently positioned in and around Rostov, Kursk, and Belgorod, according to U.S. intelligence information.