Russia’s war plans unveiled: 175,000 troops to strike EU border in three phases | World | News

Ukraine invasion fears as Putin faces Covid backlash in Russia

The Russian military is set to strike the EU border with an invasion of Ukraine, with an attack potentially set to take place as early as January next year. According to an assessment by NATO and the Ukrainian military intelligence service, if Putin gives the order, the Russian army will organize “a simultaneous attack from northern Crimea, through the separatist territories to the east and from the north, ”revealed a high-ranking security source. .

The attack could take place “late January, early February” if Ukraine and NATO do not respond to Putin’s demands.

The Kremlin has not yet decided to implement the plans.

It comes as Mr Putin recently demanded a legally binding guarantee that NATO will not expand east – including Ukraine, with the Kremlin saying the Russian leader plans to raise the issue on an appeal. with US President Joe Biden.

A NATO insider assessment revealed that the attack could unfold in three phases, giving Putin the opportunity to reassess the invasion if the Western reaction is sufficient.

Vladimir Putin plans to use 175,000 troops in three phases to capture Ukraine. (Image: PA)

Russian troops board a helicopter

Russian army ready to strike EU border with invasion of Ukraine (Image: PA)

Just last Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned that Russian plans ranged from “efforts to destabilize Ukraine from within to large-scale military operations.”

German media outlet BILD, which spoke to high-ranking military sources, revealed that the first phase of the attack would involve an invasion of southern Ukraine.

A security agent told the media that the aim of this step would be “to secure supplies to Crimea as well as to cut Ukraine off from the sea and therefore from supplies.”

A senior Western intelligence officer added that Russia planned to use its warships, which were moved from the Baltic Sea to the region in the spring, “to transport tanks and troops from the Crimea to the area around it. ‘Odessa’ – allowing the region to be surrounded.

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russian tank

If Putin gives the order, the army will organize “a simultaneous attack from northern Crimea” (Image: PA)

Putin

Mr Putin recently demanded a legally binding guarantee that NATO will not expand east (Image: PA)

There would also be simultaneous “airborne Spetsnaz special forces operations” in the Kherson region along the Dnieper River, which would block bridges over the country’s most important river and cut off supplies to the Ukrainians.

The source added: “From Crimea there would initially only be artillery fire on strong Ukrainian positions. Ukrainian troops would then be moored there and not be able to take over the bridges behind them. “

In addition, Russian tank units, still supported by the Navy and Air Force, would advance west from the occupied Donbass region in eastern Ukraine, then split up and advance towards Zaporizhia. , the most important military center in southern Ukraine, and Crimea.

If that was successful, all of southern Ukraine would be under Russian control, and Putin would have built a corridor between Russia and NATO’s border with Romania.

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Russia vs Ukraine: stats

Russia vs Ukraine: stats (Image: Express)

The second phase would involve an attack on northeastern Ukraine.

BILD reported that once the Kremlin weakened Ukraine’s military capabilities, Russian tank units could then cross the border into the Lugansk and Kharkiv regions and advance to the major cities of Dnipro and Poltava.

A source said: “First of all, they would surround or encircle towns and cut off electricity, gas and food. After a few weeks, the Russians could boast of being the saviors of civilians, invading the capitular cities and saving the Ukrainian population from starvation or death. “

The three-stage attack would result in the capture of Kiev.

However, a source added that this “could happen at the start of the war if the circumstances demanded it.”

russian troops

NATO insider assessment found attack could unfold in three phases (Image: PA)

While NATO strategists are unsure whether Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko would support the invasion, if Belarus offered itself as a starting point for Russian attacks, the Kremlin could surround Kiev from the northeast and northeast. Where is.

Russian forces would then march “roughly along the Korosten-Uman line to cut off supplies from western Ukraine.” Then we would expect a surrender of Kiev and therefore Ukraine under pressure from the West, “said a source.

Another added: “If Russia comes in, the sanctions will come anyway.”

“So it doesn’t make sense to stop halfway any more.”

The sources were also pessimistic about Ukraine’s ability to defend itself: “The Ukrainians would fight, but they would not be able to withstand a major attack from the Russians.”

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.