Russia's buildup near Ukraine may reach 40,000 troops: U.S. sources.
(Reuters) - Russia's reinforcement of troops near Ukraine has brought the total forces there to as many as 40,000, U.S. officials estimated on Friday, as the United States voiced anxiety over the buildup and called on Moscow to pull back its military.
The U.S. estimates of as many as 35,000 to around 40,000 troops are higher than the more than 30,000 total deployments reported earlier this week by U.S. and European sources familiar with official reporting.
Some European sources remain cautious of increasing the estimates beyond 30,000.
The military buildup is adding to concerns that Russia may again be readying an incursion into Ukraine following its annexation of Crimea, which has triggered the worst stand-off with the West since the Cold War.
"The possibility of another Russian incursion is very real," a U.S. intelligence official said, echoing increasingly ominous statements by other Obama administration officials.
The Russian deployments included the establishment of supply lines and the fielding of a wide range of military forces, U.S. officials say, speaking on condition of anonymity.
These include militia or special forces units made up of Russian fighters wearing uniforms lacking insignia or other identifying markings, similar to the first Russian forces to move into Crimea during Russia's recent military takeover there, according to U.S. and European sources familiar with official reporting.
The Pentagon has said there was no indication that the forces were carrying out the kind of springtime military exercises Moscow has officially cited as the reason for their deployment.
U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday described the buildup as out of the ordinary.
"You've seen a range of troops massing along that border under the guise of military exercises," he said on CBS "This Morning" in Vatican City. "But these are not what Russia would normally be doing."
Obama said the moves might be no more than an effort to intimidate Ukraine, but could be a precursor to other actions.
"It may be that they've got additional plans," he said in excerpts from an interview with CBS "Evening News," to be broadcast in full on Friday night.
Ukraine's government has put its heavily outnumbered and outgunned forces on alert for an invasion from Russia in the east, following Moscow's takeover of Crimea, as the West moves to isolate Russia diplomatically and pressure it economically.
Ukraine's estimates of Russian forces near the border are far higher than Western figures, with Ukrainian security chief Andriy Parubiy citing nearly 100,000 troops on Thursday, via webcast from Kiev to a U.S. think tank. His comments can be seen here: here
Exactly what Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to do with his forces on the Ukraine border is not known, U.S. officials said.
Some officials say intelligence information available to policymakers regarding what Putin is thinking, and what he is saying to his advisers and military commanders, is fragmentary to non-existent.
Putin has reserved the right to send troops into Ukraine, the eastern part of which is home to a large population of Russian-speakers. On Friday, he said Russia's takeover of Crimea showed off its military prowess.
"The recent events in Crimea were a serious test," Putin was shown saying on state television.
"They demonstrated both the completely new capabilities of our Armed Forces and the high morale of the personnel."
In the meantime, suggest better prepare to allocate bigger portion of budget for bread (wheat prices likely to rise), cat scans (nuclear isotopes on the up n UP) and house heating amongst a slew of other daily essential likely to rise in price
dc CB 18:55:02 GMT - 03/29/2014
If the US is really that concerned about a Russian invasion of the rest of Ukraine, then you might think that they would have learned from their own experience in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Cheap, deadly, low tech and easily dispersed.......
that's the point, even going back to VietNam...when the US threw all the big war hardware at the VietCong. The humiliation of it all.
What is needed to get things back on track is a good old fashioned enemy/threat that also had an arsenal of high tech really expensive war machines. a well defined threat that the "entire country" can rally against, and willing spend billions on moar. Cities we can threaten to bomb, borders that can be crosses. Tanks, planes, ships..... Fight WWII again...hey we won that one. It's been so long since we've had one of those, most of the population have no idea what it's like....Hey we can use it as an excuse to re-instate the draft...that will get those millenials out of their parents basement.
sarcstic? mabey. that some are thinking that way?
Cambridge Joe 19:14:31 GMT - 03/29/2014
CB several (many) years ago I took my two youngest to a Military 'families-day' event.
Using a Milan Anti Tank system (now old hat) the boy of eight years killed 6 out of 10 MBTs and the girl of 6 killed 2 out of 10 MBTs.
That shocked me as to how user friendly these things are.
Both used the SA80 Assault rifle with live and weren't too bad (Not as good as me tho !)
My point is that with a modicum of training a guerilla force can be formed and be highly effective.
If equipped they will inflict death by a thousand cuts on the invader.
In fact, the Soviets were among the first to use road-side IEDs in the defence of Leningrad, as Army Group North advanced.
They even packed great old houses with explosives. Those houses they knew the Germans would occupy as a local headquarters, sometimes using a six month timer !!!
Surprise ? I would think so.
dc CB 19:46:30 GMT - 03/29/2014
This is Cold War 2.0. The West is crumbling under a mountain of debt(and fraud). The "have-nots" are getting restless. In the US the elected ones are across the board viewed as fools, if not worse, a not just part of the problem, but The Problem.
And the Problem is "elections".
Elections this year and next in the US. What would be better to have as issues. Finger pointing candidates...your fault...no your fault...
Or "unite against our common enemy" . If the SHTF and the markets do Crash again, there will be so many fingers pointed you won't be able to cross the room. Really good idea to have an Evil Empire waiting in the wings. And you can't set that up overnight. The "wack-a-mole" Terrorist are gonna' get us - is old meme. No one rallies behind that anymore. (sarc-off???)
Cambridge Joe 20:09:14 GMT - 03/29/2014
CB. Agreed.... the monopoly board could get kicked up in the air....
Earlier I looked at SP 500 which has a major sell on the weekly around end April (20th)/ poss early May. Look for a halving of present values.
Again on the weekly Gold has a corresponding and opposite (buy) signal early July (6th). Look for >+$2000. In fact, nothing I have below 15 mins is diametrically opposed to buy. Daily while not a full on buy appears to be currently on a suppt @ 1290 ish. Weekly, yet to mature ...
I can't be very clear about times... it is the weekly chart.
IMO. GL. Take care !
nw kw 21:31:00 GMT - 03/29/2014
need the wheat belt to be safe for pudding
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