Strengthening Russia of military personnel threatening Ukraine probably totals up to 190,000, the United States Ambassador to the Organization for Security and cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said at a meeting on the Ukrainian crisis on Friday.
“We estimate that Russia probably massaged between 169,000 and 190,000 personnel in and close to Ukraine compared with about 100,000 on January 30,” Michael Carpenter told the meeting, which Russia did not attend. “This is the most important military mobilization in Europe since World War II.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin as in Poland on Friday warned that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could trigger an exodus of people fleeing to the European Union.
“If Russia invades Ukraine more, Poland could see dozens of thousands of displaced Ukrainians and others crossing its border trying to save themselves and their families from the scourge of war,” he said alongside son Polish counterpart Mariusz Blaszczak in Warsaw.
Blaszczak said Poland was ready to help those who were forced to leave Ukraine in the event of a Russian attack. Last week inside Poland minister stated that son country was preparing emergency shelters.
The United States recently moved 4,700 troops from the 82nd division airborne from North Carolina to Poland to reinforce the 4,500 American forces. already parked in the country. Austin was also was to meet President Andrzej Duda in Warsaw.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted son close ally Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko in the Kremlin on Friday, announcing that leaders would discuss military cooperation and oversee the coming war games.
Lukashenko’s visit to Russia comes as Moscow is up against west over European and Ukrainian security tensions escalate after large-scale Russian drills in Belarus.
“We will do it, of Of course, talking about the situation in the regionevaluate how military cooperation continues, including the pursuit military exercises,” Putin told Lukashenko before of talks.
“Tomorrow we will even participate in one of the most significant events in this complex of military cooperation,” said the Russian leader.
The Russian Ministry of Defense announced earlier Friday than Putin would oversee military exercises the next day which would involve launching of cruise and ballistic missiles.
Belarus, wedged between Russia and EU member states, is more closely aligned with Russia in the alarm of historic anti-Lukashenko protests in 2020.
“Our Western partners – like you call them – brought the military-the political spectrum in the foreground, and we must react to it, including by taking military exercises and through diplomacy,” Lukashenko told Putin in Moscow.
He also accuse Western leaders of “frighten the world saying that ‘tomorrow’ we will attackcircle, destroy Ukraine.”
Washington has estimated that some 30,000 Russian troops have been deployed to neighboring Belarus as part of of joint exercises due to run until Sunday.
These and other large-scale exercises near Ukraine have fueled concerns in European capitals and Washington that Moscow is preparing a attack on son next to.
Russia has denied everything plans and accused Ukraine of violate ceasefirefire The agreements in ballast of the country, where the army combat pro-Moscow separatists.
Lukashenko said on Thursday that son country could harbor nuclear weapons if it did face to external threats, as tensions soar between son ally Putin and Western leaders.