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Large scale Russian offensive possible in January, Ukraine says -Breaking

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Oleksii Reznikov, the new Defence Minister for Ukraine, attends a session in Kyiv (Ukraine), November 4, 2021. REUTERS/Oleksandr Klymenko

Natalia Zinets

KYIV, Reuters – Russia has gathered over 94,000 troops at Ukraine’s borders, and might be preparing to launch a massive military offensive in January, Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Raznikov said Friday. Citing intelligence reports, he stated that Russia may have been preparing for a big-scale military operation.

Reznikov claimed that Ukraine wouldn’t do anything to provoke this situation but that it was prepared to fight back in the event of an attack by Russia.

Ukraine and NATO have raised concerns about Russian troop movements close to Ukraine’s borders in the past year. This has sparked fears that an ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine might escalate into war.

Reznikov stated that intelligence analyzes all possible scenarios. It noted that Russia is likely to escalate on a large scale. It is likely that Russia will reach readiness at the end January.

Ukraine has demanded that NATO and its European Union allies prepare tough sanctions this week in order to stop Russia from setting up an offensive.

Moscow has also accused the United States and Ukraine of destabilizing behaviour. It suggested that Kyiv may be planning to launch an offensive in Eastern Ukraine. This is strongly denied by Ukrainian authorities.

On Thursday, U.S. Secretary Antony Blinken warned Moscow about the “severe consequences” Russia could face in the event of an escalated situation. He urged his Russian counterpart to pursue a diplomatic resolution of the crisis.

Blinken stated that it is likely Presidents Joe Biden or Vladimir Putin will speak shortly.

The Kremlin announced Friday that they are working to set up a video conference between them. This was just a day after top diplomats from both countries met to discuss Ukraine’s crisis.

After Moscow-backed forces took territory in Eastern Ukraine, Kyiv wanted back, Ukraine’s relations with Russia fell in 2014. Kyiv claims that around 14,000 have been killed during fighting in Ukraine since 2014.

Moscow demands legally binding guarantees from NATO that Ukraine will not be admitted to NATO or its missile defense systems. This is in response to the recent crisis.

Ukraine asserts that Russia does not have control over its NATO ambitions and rejected any security assurances as illegal.

Reznikov stated that “Escalation” is possible but is not inevitable. We have to make the cost of escalation inacceptable for the aggressor.

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Mike Robinson
Mike covers the financial, utilities and biotechnology sectors for Street Register. He has been writing about investment and personal finance topics for almost 12 years. Mike has an MBA in Finance from Wake Forest University.