Ukraine military leaders say forces don’t stand much of a chance against Russia without help from West

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The head of Ukraine’s military intelligence service says that the country doesn’t have “sufficient military resources” to repel a full-scale attack by Russia without the help of the West.

Gen. Kyrylo Budanov told The New York Times that “unfortunately, Ukraine needs to be objective at this stage. There are not sufficient military resources for repelling a full-scale attack by Russia if it begins without the support of Western forces.”

Budanov detailed what a potential Russian invasion could look like, saying that it would likely begin with airstrikes and rocket attacks on ammunition depots and trench-bound troops. 

He said that the Ukrainian military would be incapacitated “quickly,” with military leaders unable to coordinate a defense and supply the front lines. After that, he told the Times, responsibility would fall to front-line commanders to carry on the fight alone.

President Biden told reporters on Wednesday said the United States is not considering sending troops to Ukraine amid rising tensions at its border with Russia.

“That is not on the table,” Biden told reporters at the White House. “We have a moral obligation and a legal obligation to our NATO allies if they were to attack under Article 5, it’s a sacred obligation. That obligation does not extend to … Ukraine.”

Russia has built up 120,000 troops near its border with Ukraine, prompting fears of an attack similar to the 2014 invasion that led to Moscow’s seizure of Crimea.

According to an assessment by Ukrainian security sources, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense told CNN that “combat and other military equipment, such as tanks, armed vehicles and ‘Iskander’ missiles remain near the border of Ukraine,” following numerous Russian military exercises.

“The most likely time to reach readiness for escalation will be the end of January,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said, according to the BBC.

CIA Director William Burns believes Russian President Vladimir Putin “is putting the Russian military, the Russian security services in a place where they could act in a pretty sweeping way,” the BBC report added.

In an attempt to deescalate the situation at the border, Biden spoke with Putin for two hours on Tuesday, during which he warned Moscow against invading Ukraine, the White House said in a readout of the conversation.

“I made it very clear, if in fact he invades Ukraine there will be severe consequences,” Biden said, adding that the Russian president would face strict economic penalties “like none he has ever seen.”

Russia has tried to lay the blame on Ukraine and NATO as the aggressors and demanded a legally binding commitment from NATO not to expand eastward, including to Ukraine.

U.S. and European officials have refused to make such commitments.

Tags Joe Biden Russia Russia-Ukraine conflict Russia-Ukraine relations Russo-Ukrainian War Ukraine Ukraine-Russia conflict Vladimir Putin William Burns

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