Amid the welter of often contradictory reports concerning the military noose Russia is weaving around Ukraine comes one that could indicate that the long-feared invasion of the eastern European country may be imminent.
Reuters is reporting that Russia has moved blood supplies and other medical equipment up to the front lines. Reuters cited “three U.S. officials” it did not name as its source. CNN, also citing sources it did not name, issued a similar report.
Medical supplies are essential for treating wounded soldiers.
“It doesn’t guarantee that there’s going to be another attack, but you would not execute another attack unless you have that in hand,” said Ben Hodges, a retired U.S. lieutenant general now with the Center for European Policy Analysis research institute, according to Reuters.
Ukraine’s deputy defense minister Hanna Malyar said the report was more fear than fact.
“This information is not true. Such ‘news’ is an element of information and psychological war. The purpose of such information is to spread panic and fear in our society,” she said, Reuters reported.
Ukrainian officials have sought to publicly keep an even keel amid reports that more than 100,000 Russian troops have amassed along its borders.
this quote by Oleksei Danilov (to @nytimes) encapsulates alot of the frustration among Ukraine’s top leaders toward the US (essentially boils down to: “stop being so loud, and give us more guns”) pic.twitter.com/FPlAtkl6aU
— Mike Eckel (@Mike_Eckel) January 29, 2022
U.S. officials, on the other hand, have spoken in dire terms of what is to be expected if Russia unleashes an invasion.
Should the U.S. help defend Ukraine against Russia?
“Given the type of forces that are arrayed … if that was unleashed on Ukraine, it would be significant, very significant, and it would result in a significant amount of casualties,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said Friday, according to CNN.
“You can imagine what that might look like in dense urban areas, along roads, and so on and so forth. It would be horrific. It would be terrible. And it’s not necessary. And we think a diplomatic outcome is the way to go here.”
On Sunday, Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.S. said the West should beware: If war comes, the stakes are higher than Ukraine, according to The Hill.
At eastern Ukraine ad hoc group of untrained & underarmed conscripts, home guard will face well armed, well trained, well disciplined, well supported, well led elite Russian storm troops under the legendary Russian warhorse Vladimir the Great.https://t.co/MwXcSI8MZ7
— bill shea (@bill_21c) January 30, 2022
Oksana Markarova said the pattern was laid in the 2014 Russian invasion that allowed it to annex Crimea.
“The reason why Putin attacked us is not because he wants Ukraine, or only Ukraine. The reason he attacked us is because we have chosen to be a democracy, and we have the Atlantic and European aspirations,” Markarova explained.
“I believe nobody’s safe if Ukraine will be attacked,” she stated.
“We do not want to be part of the Soviet Union or the Russian Empire or the Russian Federation. We want to be sovereign, we are sovereign and we’re fighting for our independence,” she continued.
“And if Ukraine will be further attacked by Russia, of course, they will not stop after Ukraine. So that’s why it’s in the interest of Europe and all democratic world, to help us to defend ourselves but also to show that the international rule of law still works.”