War omens are escalating.. Dangerous moves by Russia’s spies and mercenaries to sow discord and paralyze Ukraine

Kiev – Ukraine (news now) – February 15, 2022. 09:58

The Ukrainian crisis is months of conflict and threats between Moscow and the West

  • Sources: Russia may use mercenaries to sow discord and paralyze Ukraine
  • The Russian incursion into Ukraine could be preceded by an information war
  • Russian forces massing on Ukraine border increases tension

Fears are increasing day by day of a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine despite international efforts to avoid a military escalation. On the ground, Russia and Ukraine amassed their military forces on the borders, and NATO reinforced its defenses in Eastern Europe and put its forces on alert.
Three senior Western security sources told Reuters that Russian mercenaries linked to Russia’s security and intelligence services have beefed up their presence in Ukraine in recent weeks, raising concerns among some NATO members that Russia might try to find a pretext for an invasion.

They said their fears have increased in recent weeks that Russia’s incursion into Ukraine It could be preceded by an information war and cyber-attacks on Ukraine’s vital infrastructure such as electricity and gas networks, according to “Reuters”.

The sources said that Russia may use mercenaries to sow discord and paralyze Ukraine, through targeted assassinations and the use of specialized weapons.

A Western security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “It is likely that Russian mercenaries, under the direction of the Russian state, are involved in hostilities in Ukraine including most likely creating a pretext for an invasion.”

Western security sources said that the mercenaries are affiliated with Russian private military companies with close ties to the Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Russian Military Intelligence Agency (GRU).

Among those sent in recent weeks is a former officer who also worked for the Wagner mercenary group, who agency sources said had gone to Donetsk, one of two regions of eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian separatists since 2014.

The sources said that Russian mercenary groups supplied weapons to pro-Russian militias and trained special operations personnel in eastern Ukraine.

She explained that a number of “Wagner” elements went to the Ukrainian border, after training at the “GRU” base near the city of Krasnodar in southern Russia, and that other Russian mercenary groups linked to the two aforementioned security services have increased their activities in Ukraine since the beginning of the year.

The United States has expressed concerns that Russia will use mercenaries, special operations forces and other gray-zone warfare techniques to delegitimize Kiev before the invasion, according to Reuters sources.

There is speculation that Russia is close to moving to invade Ukraine, and analysts believe that Russian military moves can support the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, which have been fighting the Ukrainian army since 2014, as Russia reinforces its military presence in eastern Ukraine, making the east of the country the easiest sites to start the invasion.

And CNN revealed satellite images obtained from the American company “Maxar”, which specializes in space technology, showing the transfer of military equipment, including tanks, artillery and Russian armored vehicles, from the “Yelina” military base, to the Ukrainian border, in recent days. .

A satellite image published by Maxar Technologies shows a closer look at the deployment of new SU-34 combat aircraft at Primorsko-Akhtarsk Air Base in Krasnodar Krai, Russia on February 13, 2022. (Photo from various sources / AFP)

Ukrainian exercises 30 km from Crimea

The Ukrainian army also conducted military exercises in the Kherson region, in the north of the Crimea. Units from the Ministry of the Interior, the National Police, the National Guard and the Border Guard, in the presence of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, participated in the exercises.

While Russian forces are already concentrated near the southern and southeastern borders with Ukraine. There are still additional steps before the start of the operation, but the live-fire exercises and maneuvers that are taking place and the arrival of the logistical units indicate that a force is ready to act.

Regardless of whether Russia opts for a more limited incursion or a broader offensive, the consequences it faces from the United States and its allies and partners should be unprecedented, as the Biden administration has previously warned that they will be.

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