Intelligence Leaks Claim Russian Invasion of Ukraine Ready for Early 2022
Dec. 4, 2021 (EIRNS)—The Washington Post, citing the usual unnamed intelligence sources along with documents that were slipped in front of its eyes, dramatically reported last night that U.S. intelligence has found the Kremlin is planning a multi-front offensive as soon as early next year involving up to 175,000 troops. “The Russian plans call for a military offensive against Ukraine as soon as early 2022 with a scale of forces twice what we saw this past spring during Russia’s snap exercise near Ukraine’s borders,” said an administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “The plans involve extensive movement of 100 battalion tactical groups with an estimated 175,000 personnel, along with armor, artillery and equipment.”
The Post published what it says is an unclassified intelligence document, which includes satellite photos, showing Russian forces massing in four locations. Currently, 50 battlefield tactical groups are deployed, along with “newly arrived” tanks and artillery, according to the document. While Ukrainian assessments have charged that Russia has approximately 94,000 troops near the border, the U.S. map puts the number at 70,000—but predicts a buildup to as many as 175,000 and describes extensive movement of battalion tactical groups to and from the border “to obfuscate intentions and to create uncertainty.” The U.S. analysis of Russia’s plans is based in part on satellite images that “show newly arrived units at various locations along the Ukrainian border over the last month,” the official said.
The intelligence document also suggests that “Equipment may be left behind at different training ranges to enable a rapid, final buildup.”
CNN, in a report published earlier in the day but also citing the usual unnamed intelligence sources, claimed that Russian forces have capabilities in place along the Ukraine border to carry out a swift and immediate invasion, including erecting supply lines such as medical units and fuel that could sustain a drawn-out conflict, should Moscow choose to invade. An unnamed senior administration official, told CNN that the U.S. has “seen additional Russia troops added to the border region in recent days,” but the source declined to detail how many troops.
The Post story is being widely circulated by other media outlets, while similar stories not citing the Post also appeared in Politico, Bildzeitung and other locations.