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Putin tactics for invasion laid bare: Kremlin 'will want to move before winter ice thaws'




Russia-Ukraine: Moscow is creating ‘new normal’ says NATO

Ukraine and the West remain sceptical about Russia’s withdrawal of some troops from its border regions. While Russian defence ministry pictures appear to show vehicles and personnel moving, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said his country is yet to see any evidence of a significant removal of Russian forces. Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO Secretary General, echoed this in a news conference on Wednesday when he said defence ministers have met to discuss the “continued” troop build up on the borders of Ukraine.

He said allies welcome all diplomatic efforts and says there are signs from Moscow that diplomacy could win through.

But, he added there are no signs of de-escalation or withdrawal of Russian troops.

Russia denies it has any plans to invade Ukraine, despite the fact more than 100,000 military personnel have massed at the country’s shared border.

Professor Julian Lindley-French, an internationally recognised strategic analyst and adviser in defence, who has worked with NATO, argues Moscow will want to invade soon in order to avoid the winter thaw.

Russia: Moscow will want to avoid the winter thaw, has been told

Russia: Moscow will want to avoid the winter thaw, has been told (Image: GETTY)

Jens Stoltenberg: The NATO chief said Russia is continuing to mass troops along its border

Jens Stoltenberg: The NATO chief said Russia is continuing to mass troops along its border (Image: GETTY)

When the weather changes and warms by a few degrees, conditions will become exceedingly difficult for heavily military vehicles and personnel to operate in.

Prof Lindley-French told “The next four weeks are crucial.

“One reason being that when the spring comes in Ukraine it becomes very muddy.

“Given the kind of manoeuvre forces that Putin would deploy in a multi-access, multi-domain attack, he needs to be mobile.

“He needs winter to maintain that mobility.”

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US military: Troops arrive in Poland on Wednesday

US military: Troops arrive in Poland on Wednesday (Image: GETTY)

The geopolitics expert went on to discuss the logistics around a Russian invasion. He said: “They would suggest Putin could sustain an operation of large scale for about ten days — and that doesn’t suggest objectives that are really deep into Ukraine.”

Russia says it is simply defending its western border in the face of NATO expansion.

This week, there were suggestions Ukraine could drop its bid to become a NATO member in order to avoid war with Russia after the country’s ambassador to Britain, Vadym Prystaiko, told the BBC Ukraine was “flexible” over its membership goal.

When asked if Kyiv could change its position on NATO membership, Mr Prystaiko said: “We might – especially being threatened like that, blackmailed by that, and pushed to it.”


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NATO: Several thousand US troops were sent to bolster NATO's eastern flank

NATO: Several thousand US troops were sent to bolster NATO’s eastern flank (Image: GETTY)

Donbass: The region has been blighted by clashes since 2014

Donbass: The region has been blighted by clashes since 2014 (Image: GETTY)

However, a spokesperson for the country’s foreign minister has since dispelled the remarks, claiming Mr Prystaiko’s words were taken out of context.

Oleg Nikolenko wrote on Facebook: “Ambassador Prystaiko rightly noted in his interview that the prospect of Nato membership is established in the constitution of Ukraine, although Ukraine is currently not a member of NATO or any other security alliance.

“The key for us is the issue of security guarantees.

“Undoubtedly, the best such guarantee would be the alliance immediately accepting Ukraine. But the threats to Ukraine exist here and now, so the search for security guarantees becomes a fundamental and urgent task.

Military match: Russia has considerably more military manpower than Ukraine

Military match: Russia has considerably more military manpower than Ukraine (Image: Express Newspapers)

“At the same time, no decision can be made that contradicts the Ukrainian constitution.”

In 2008, Ukraine was promised, along with Georgia, that it would eventually be given the opportunity to join.

Later, in 2019, an amendment was adopted that enshrined the ultimate goal of Nato membership in Ukraine’s constitution.

Vadym Prystaiko: The official said Ukraine is not looking to shift in its bid to join NATO

Vadym Prystaiko: The official said Ukraine is not looking to shift in its bid to join NATO (Image: GETTY)

Mr Prystaiko later confirmed that his words had been mistaken, after he told the BBC: “No [Ukraine is not reconsidering its ambitions to join NATO] and I am quite happy that I have this chance to clarify my position.”

Asked again if Ukraine was shifting its bid to become a member, he said: “No.”



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Read more: Ryan Garcia and Who is Ryan Garcia Net Worth


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'This is huge' Swedish Air Force jet deployed over Belarus border in threat to Putin




The Scandinavian country is not a member of NATO, but could be ready to trade in its neutral status in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

News of Stockholm’s decision to send a jet was revealed by twitter user Jamming.

They wrote: “Swedish Air Force Korpen active over Poland border area with Belarus.

“Sweden part of surveillance of Belarus and Ukraine!!!

“This is a huge political statement! Update on SwAF Korpen.”


The Gulfstream IV aircraft was tracked taking off from Linking airport and then flying towards the city of Grodno in western Belarus.

It was flying at an altitude of just under 12,000 metres at a speed of 836 kilometres per hour.

Although Sweden is not a NATO member, it is an “enhanced opportunity partner” of the military alliance.

The government also signed a statement in 2018 pledging to strengthen its defence cooperation.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson rejected calls by opposition parties earlier this month for the country to join NATO.

She argued that such a move would further destabilise Europe.

Her statement came in the wake of threats from Moscow that NATO membership would bring “serious military-political consequences” for Sweden.

However, there is growing public support among Swedes for their country to join the transatlantic military alliance.

A poll conducted in late February by broadcaster SVT found that 41 percent of the public supported NATO membership, while thirty-five percent were against.

It was the first time an opinion study in Sweden had found more people in favour of the country joining NATO than were against it.



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Putin humiliated: Russia tries and fails to capture defiant Ukraine village for tenth time




Russia has tried and failed to capture the village of the Chornobaevka ten times, according to Ukrainian presidential adviser Aleksey Arestovich. Videos shared by Ukrainian officials online showed the “tenth defeat of the Russian invaders in Chornobaevka”. The continued failures to capture the village comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said last night that his country’s forces had “dealt powerful blows” to the Russian military.

Mr Arestovich told a press conference that Russian troops had tried to take Chornobaevka for the tenth time, but the assault again ended in failure.

Following this, the head of the nearby Mykolaiv Regional State Administration Vitaly Kim published a video showing “the defeat” as explosions erupt on the outskirts of the village.

The resolute village has become famous in Ukraine for its defence, as President Zelensky commended Chornobaivka last weekend for fending off six invasions at the time.

He said: “Ukrainian Chornobaivka will go down in war history. This is a place where the Russian military and their commanders have shown themselves for who they truly are – incompetent, capable of simply handing over their people for slaughter.

“Our military has annihilated the invaders near Chornobaivka six times.

“Six times, yet they keep coming back.”

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Online users ridiculed the latest Russian failures and hailed the Ukrainian defiance, with one Reddit user remarking: “At some point, I think every military intelligence outfit looking at this must be wondering how bad the rot is in the Russian military.”

One user visavillem added: “So this is the 10th time. Are Russians trying to bait Ukrainians to waste ammo with some obsolete/broken equipment, or are they really so stupid, that they keep stepping on the same rake again and again?”

Another user on Reddit adfgqert posted: “The Ukrainian people have resolve and determination that is beyond what I think is normal.

“Beyond inspirational and they bring fighting for what they believe in to a new level for me.” 

This comes amid ongoing setbacks for Russian military forces in the south of the country.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Russia had withdrawn most of its helicopters from a strategic airport in Kherson, in southern Ukraine, according to satellite images.

Kherson has also been the site of several local protests against the occupying Russian soldiers.

The official said: “We can’t corroborate exactly who is in control of Kherson but the point is, it doesn’t appear to be as solidly in Russian control as it was before.

“That would make it very, very difficult for them to make any kind of ground movement on Odesa.

“That would be a significant development, no question about that, in terms of the southern part of the war.” 


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