Last updated on February 20, 2022
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Saturday that Russia has kind of already started their anticipated invasion of Ukraine and that Russian President Vladimir Putin is planning the largest war in Europe since World War II.
“I’m afraid that that is what the evidence points to, there’s no burnishing it,” Johnson said when asked about whether a Russian invasion was imminent. “The fact is that all the signs are that the plan has already in some senses begun.”
Johnson added, “I’m afraid to say that the plan we are seeing is for something that could be really the biggest war in Europe since 1945 just in terms of sheer scale.”
A U.S. official told reporters on Friday that 40-50% of the up to 190,000 Russian soldiers near Ukraine’s borders are now “in an attack position.”
“They have uncoiled in tactical assembly in the last 48 hours,” the official said.
Tactical assembly points are areas next to the border where military units set up in advance of an attack. The official said Moscow had massed 125 battalion tactical groups close to the Ukraine border, compared to 60 in normal times and up from 80 at the beginning of February.
The increase in clashes between pro-Russian separatists in the southeastern Donbass region of Ukraine and Ukraine government forces, and inflammatory claims by officials in Russia and Donbass, show that “the destabilization campaign has begun,” the official said.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) explained during an interview with The Daily Wire this week the reason that Russia held off invading Ukraine in the past and is now primed to do so.
“Putin has long wanted to invade Ukraine. Putin has been very candid, he has described the dissolution of the Soviet Union as in his view, the most disastrous geopolitical event of the 20th century,” Cruz said. “And his ambitions have long been to reassemble the Soviet Union. He yearns for what he sees as the days of Soviet greatness. If you’re going to reassemble the Soviet Union, the first and most important part is Ukraine, the breadbasket of the former Soviet Union, Putin has invaded Ukraine before.”
“He did so in 2014, he invaded Crimea. But he stopped short, he didn’t invade the entirety of the country, and the reason he didn’t is because he needs Ukrainian energy infrastructure,” Cruz continued. “Russia’s major export is natural gas and oil, and that natural gas goes right through the middle of Ukraine on pipelines. If he invaded Ukraine, he risks damaging or destroying that energy infrastructure, which would mean that he could not get his natural gas to market in Europe. Accordingly, the next year in 2015, Putin began building a pipeline called Nord Stream 2, an undersea pipeline that goes directly from Russia to Germany, designed to circumvent Ukraine so he could march into Ukraine and not risk getting his gas to market.”
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