The United States has warned European allies that Russia is readying for a possible invasion of Ukraine “on a scale far greater than seven years ago,” Bloomberg reported Monday.
Russia has been accused by the West of funding and arming pro-Moscow rebels in eastern Ukraine since the outbreak of conflict there in 2014, claims Moscow denies.
U.S. intelligence shared with some NATO members reportedly expresses “high confidence” that Russia could invade Ukraine from annexed Crimea, the western Russian border and Belarus as soon as next year, Bloomberg reported.
“America and others are not saying a war is certain, or even that they know for sure Putin is serious about one,” Bloomberg said.
It added that its sources “said it is likely [Putin] has not yet decided what to do.”
Bloomberg reported that around half of the 100,000 soldiers are already in position for a rapid, large-scale push through “rough terrain and freezing conditions” over extensive territory and potentially prolonged occupation.
Citing two unnamed people familiar with the intelligence-sharing, Bloomberg reported that Russia has also carried out an unannounced call-up of reservists “to secure territory in a later phase.”
The Kremlin said Monday that the multiple reports of Russia’s planned invasion of Ukraine are “camouflage” for Ukraine’s “belligerent” attempts to reclaim ceded pro-Moscow eastern territories with outside help.
President Vladimir Putin last week accused the West of “escalating” the Ukraine conflict with Black Sea drills and bomber flights near Russian borders.