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Russian threat: How many troops are at the door and whether to wait for withdrawal

War between Ukraine and Russia 2022: 147,000 troops at the borders, withdrawal from Belarus is cancelled. Photo: Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

War between Ukraine and Russia 2022: 147,000 troops at the borders, withdrawal from Belarus is cancelled. Photo: Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense counted 147,000 Russian soldiers near the borders of Ukraine. Obviously, a promised withdrawal is out of the question.

Quote"We are watching the Russian units that today have 127,000 people on the ground component, with a marine and aviation component—147 thousand people. We do not see a withdrawal and we are not talking about reducing the number, since those units that are now moving can be very quickly returned to their previous places or redeployed to another region," Oleksiy Reznikov, head of the agency, said, according to Interfax-Ukraine.

According to his calculations, out of the specified number, only 9,000 Russian servicemen are on the territory of Belarus. Reznikov stressed that even taking into account the available military equipment, this number of contingents would not be enough for an invasion of Ukraine from the Belarusian side.

Quote"But threatening us, scaring us, creating a situation of such an environment—yes, it works. Therefore, exercises have begun in Pridnestrovie—so that you and I would tense up, distract our resource, and divert our attention," Reznikov added.

Meanwhile, despite all previous assurances and promises, Moscow changed its mind about withdrawing its military assets from Belarus after completing the joint military maneuvers Allied Resolve-2022 on February 20. The Belarusian Ministry of Defense stated that the decision to withdraw would be made only if there was an "objective need" for this.

Quote"This is solely our internal affair. To a large extent, this will also depend on our Western colleagues. The Republic of Belarus has the right to require the withdrawal of the created groupings of U.S. troops and individual NATO member countries from the borders of the Republic of Belarus and the Union State and to ensure control of the troops withdrawal by verification measures," the Defense Department said in a statement.

Additionally. The American TV channel CNN stated that the latest satellite images taken by Maxar on February 20 indicate an increase in the activity of Russian troops near the Ukrainian borders. On them, the experts pointed out "multiple field deployments of armored equipment and troops northwest of Belgorod and near the villages of Soloti and Valuyki, Russia." These settlements are located at a distance of up to 35 km from the Russian border with Ukraine.

Quote"This new activity represents a change in the pattern of the previously observed deployments of battle groups (tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery, and support equipment). Until recently, most of the deployments had been seen primarily positioned at or near existing military garrisons and training areas," is stated in Maxar’s report.

The images also showed equipment deployment 15km (east of Valuyki) and a number of field deployments 30km from the border with Ukraine (northwest of Belgorod).

Context. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, stated that Russia should prepare for isolation from international financial markets if it resorts to a new invasion of Ukraine.

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