American forces arrive in Poland as part of Biden’s 3,000 troops deployment and Ukraine assures diplomacy with Russia is still greater than chances of an attack after US warns Russia is ‘70%’ ready to invade
- An elite group of U.S. paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division arrived at the Rzeszow-Jasionka Airport in Poland on Sunday, February 6, 2022
- Comes after President Biden approved deployment of 2,000 troops from Fort Bragg to Poland and Germany to bolster forces as Russia moves closer to invading Ukraine
- The forces arrived on an Air Force Boeing C-17 Globemaster III on Sunday
- On Saturday, more U.S. military aid arrived in Kyiv and U.S. Army officers arrived at Rzeszow-Jasionka Airport from Germany
- U.S. intelligence warns Russia is now ’70 per cent ready’ to invade Ukraine
- Estimated 100,000 troops have amassed on Ukrainian border in recent months
- Germany is accused of being ‘missing in action’ over refusal to commit troops
- Chancellor Olaf Scholz set for crunch talks in Washington over Eastern Europe
U.S. paratroopers landed near Poland’s border with Ukraine on Sunday after President Joe Biden ordered last week the deployment of 1,700 soldiers to the region amid rising tensions with Russia.
The elite troops part of the 82nd Airborne Division departed from Fort Bragg, North Carolina and arrived this weekend in a U.S. Army Boeing C-17 Globemaster plane at the Rzeszow-Jasionka airport in southeast Poland.
Their commander is Major General Christopher Donahue, who on August 30 was the last American soldier to leave Afghanistan. He arrived in Poland on Saturday.
Along with Donahu’s arrival were a few planes full of U.S. military equipment and an ‘advance group’ arriving at the airport 56 miles from Poland’s border with Ukraine.
It was not immediately clear how many troops arrived Sunday, but a C-17 aircraft is ‘designed to airdrop 102 paratroopers and their equipment’, according to the U.S. Air Force website.
‘Our national contribution here in Poland shows our solidarity with all of our allies here in Europe and obviously during this period of uncertainty we know that we are stronger together,’ Donahue said Sunday, according to Reuters.
Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak confirmed minutes after the plane landed that this was the first group of American soldiers ‘from an elite unit’.
‘More planes will be landing in the coming hours,’ he added. ‘The soldiers will operate in the southeastern part of our country.
The Pentagon announced last week that Biden approved the deployment and movement for 3,000 troops in Europe to help bolster forces amid fears of Russian invasion of Ukraine.
An elite group of U.S. paratrooper disembark from a C-17 at Rzeszow-Jasionka Airport in Poland on Sunday, February 6, 2022
Arrival comes after President Joe Biden approved this month the deployment of 2,000 troops from Fort Bragg to Poland and Germany to bolster forces as Russia moves closer to invading Ukraine. The forces arrived on an Air Force Boeing C-17 Globemaster III on Sunday
U.S. Army soldiers speak to each other in front of the Jasionka Rzeszow Airport on February 06, 2022 in southeastern Poland as the U.S. and NATO prepare for potential Russia invasion of Ukraine. The airport is just 56 miles from Poland’s border with Ukraine
The troops arriving in Poland are part of the 82nd Airborne Division stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. It was not immediately clear how many troops arrived Sunday, but a C-17 is ‘designed to airdrop 102 paratroopers and their equipment’, according to the Air Force website
Ukraine insisted on Sunday that the chance of resolving tensions with Russia through diplomacy is still a greater chance than attack.
But this comes as U.S. intelligence warns Russia is at 70 per cent capability to successfully invade and take Kyiv’s government within two days.
Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Sunday that Russia could invade at any moment and the U.S. and NATO are preparing for that outcome.
‘We’re in the window where something could happen that is a military escalation and invasion of Ukraine can happen at any time,’ Sullivan told NBC’s Meet the Press host Chuck Todd. ‘We believe that the Russians have put in place the capabilities to mount a significant military operation into Ukraine and we have been working hard to prepare a response.’
‘President Biden has rallied our allies, he’s reinforced and reassured our partners on the eastern flank, he’s provided material support to the Ukrainians and he’s offered the Russians a diplomatic path if that’s what they choose instead,’ he added.
‘But, either way, we are ready, our allies are ready and we’re trying to help the Ukrainian people get ready as well.’
Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Sunday that Russia could invade at any moment. ‘We believe that the Russians have put in place the capabilities to mount a significant military operation into Ukraine and we have been working hard to prepare a response,’ he told NBC’s Meet the Press
The troop arrival comes after another shipment of U.S. military aid arrived at Kyiv’s Boryspil airport on Saturday, February 5, 2022
Pictured: U.S. Army officers arrived at the Rzeszow-Jasionka airport in southeastern Poland on Saturday from Wiesbaden, Germany where a U.S. Army administration garrison is based
2,000 troops from Fort Bragg, 1,000 in the Stryker squadron moving from Germany to Romania and thousands more ready: The U.S. troop plan for Eastern Europe
Department of Defense Spokesperson John Kirby detailed on Wednesday the latest U.S. troop movements approved by President Joe Biden. He said that plan was laid out to the president in three parts:
1 – 1,000 U.S. troops part of the Germany-based infantry Stryker squadron will reposition to Romania ‘in the coming days.’ This mounted cavalry unit is designed to deploy in short order and move quickly once in place.
The movement to Romania will add to the 900 U.S. forces already in that country to help deter aggression from Russia and enhance defensive capabilities in frontline NATO allied states.
Kirby said Pentagon Secretary Lloyd Austin discussed reposition with Romania last week and the movement there is coming at the invitations of the Romanian government.
France also intends to deploy to Romania under NATO command.
2 – Approximately 2,000 troops stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina will deploy to Europe this week.
The majority of those deployments, approximately 1,700, will comes from the 82nd Airborne Division’s infantry brigade combat team, which will go to Poland. The 82nd specializes in parachute assault operations and is a rapid ready team prepared to response anywhere in the world within 18 hours.
Another 300 or so are coming from the 18th Airborne Corps, which will create a joint task force capable headquarters in Germany. The corps provides mission command and is designed for rapid deployment anywhere in the world.
Kirby said the Pentagon worked with Poland and Germany and have support for deployment. He assured: ‘Again, these are not permanent moves. They respond to current conditions. We will adjust our posture as those conditions evolve.’
3 – All of these troop movements and deployments are ‘separate and in addition’ to the 8,500 U.S. military personnel put on heightened alert posture last week.
Kirby said: ‘Those 8,500 are not currently being deployed but remain ready to move, if called, for the NATO Response Force (NRF) or as needed for other contingencies as directed by the Secretary of by President Biden.’
Two thousand of U.S. troops deployed were stationed at Fort Bragg and included the 1,700 forces in the 82nd sent to Poland and another 300 from the 18th Airborne Corps sent to Germany to create a joint task force capable headquarters to provide mission command.
The 1,000 remaining forces part of an infantry Stryker squadron were already stationed in Germany, but are being repositioned to Romania at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) closest flank to Russia. They will add to the 900 U.S. forces already in Romania.
The 82nd can rapidly deploy within 18 hours to anywhere in the world and conducts parachute assaults.
U.S. intelligence officials warned Russia is ’70 per cent ready’ to invade Ukraine as German politicians are set for crunch talks with Washington over troop deployment in the region.
New reports say Moscow has assembled almost three quarters of the necessary military firepower it would need for a full-scale February invasion of Ukraine.
An estimated 100,000 troops have amassed near Ukraine in recent months, but despite repeated calls to pull back, the Kremlin has responded by saying it will station troops wherever it needs to on the Russian territory. in recent months.
It comes as Germany was accused of being ‘missing in action’ by allies as international tensions continue to mount over Russia’s military build-up on the Ukrainian border.
While other NATO members deploy battlegroups, send tactical supplies and offer more vocal support, the Germans have appeared to draw a line in the sand and refused to offer tangible support.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will travel to the White House next week to reassure Americans that his country stands alongside the United States and other NATO partners in opposing any Russian aggression against Ukraine.
Scholz has said that Moscow would pay a ‘high price’ in the event of an attack, but has so far failed to supply lethal weapons to Ukraine, bolster its troop numbers in the region or elaborate on any planned sanctions he would take against Vladimir Putin.
‘The Germans are right now missing in action. They are doing far less than they need to do,’ Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat and member of the Armed Services Committee, recently told an audience of Ukrainian Americans in his state, Connecticut.
Western intelligence assessments believe Kyiv’s government could fall within two days of an invasion and lead to a humanitarian crisis involving around 5million refugees and more than 50,000 civilian casualties.
Germany’s Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht again ruled out supplying Kyiv with arms, after Ukraine’s embassy in Germany sent a list with specific requests to the foreign and defence ministries in Berlin.
The list included missile defence systems, tools for electronic warfare, night vision goggles, digital radios, radar stations and military ambulances – equipment which, in part, is already in short supply.
Referring to an earlier build-up last year, one European official – speaking on condition of anonymity – told the Washington Post: ‘Our worry would be that you don’t park battle groups… on the border of another country twice and do nothing.
‘I think that’s the real fear that I have. [Putin’s] now put them all out there. If he does nothing again… what does that say to the wider international community about the might of Russia?’
US intelligence officials have warned of Russia being ’70 per cent ready’ to invade Ukraine and an intelligence report indicates Russia would be able to overrun Ukraine in just two days in an invasion that could kill 50,000 civilians. Above: Satellite images show a large build up of Russian troops and logistics support units just north-west of Yelsk, Belarus on January 19
The intelligence analysis concluded that the likelihood of a diplomatic resolution of the crisis appears to be increasingly slim, Despite this, Ukraine believes diplomacy is still more likely than invasion. A photo released by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Saturday shows a tank engaging in a military exercise
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (pictured) will travel to the White House next week to reassure Americans that his country stands alongside the United States and other NATO partners in opposing any Russian aggression against Ukraine
Ukraine is holding military exercises in Chernobyl, with troops firing at abandoned buildings and launching grenades in the deserted exclusion zone as Russian troops continue to amass on the border
Putin has continued to deny plans to attack Ukraine but urged the US and its allies to provide a binding pledge that they do not accept the former Soviet state into NATO or deploy offensive weapons.
He also wants them to roll back the alliance deployments to Eastern Europe – all demands which have been flatly rejected by the international community.
It came as German media reports said Mr Putin – who objects to the idea of the Ukraine being admitted as a Nato member – had a three-step plan to bring Ukraine under a new ‘union state’ including Russia and Belarus, with Moscow as the centre of control.
The report, attributed by the Bild newspaper to a foreign secret service source, said Ukrainian activists will be rounded up and put into camps once a pro-Russian government had been installed.
Putin has continued to deny plans to attack Ukraine but urged the US and its allies to provide a binding pledge that they do not accept the former Soviet state into NATO or deploy offensive weapons. (Above, ground attack aircraft at Luninets airfield in Belarus on Friday)
It warned that an invasion was currently ‘the most likely scenario’ – adding that it could happen as early as this month as temperatures plummet and allow heavy ordnance and machinery to more easily traverse Ukrainian territory.
In recent months, Russia has conducted a series of joint drills with Belarus and repeatedly sent its nuclear-capable long-range bombers to patrol the skies over its neighbour, which borders Nato members Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.
Belarus’ authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko, who has increasingly relied on the Kremlin’s political and financial support amid bruising Western sanctions triggered by his crackdown on domestic protests, has called for closer defence ties with Moscow and recently offered to host Russian nuclear weapons.
As war fears mounted, Ukrainian authorities launched a series of drills for civilians to prepare for a possible Russian invasion.
It comes as US military and intelligence officials believe Russia is set to run a major nuclear weapons exercise in the coming weeks as a warning to Nato not to intervene in the event of Putin invading Ukraine, the Financial Times reported.
General Mark Milley, chair of the joint chiefs, and Avril Haines, director of national intelligence, said on Thursday that Putin was planning to begin the exercises in mid-February, according to a Congressional aide.
Russia usually holds its annual nuclear exercises in the autumn but the US believes Putin has decided to hold them earlier this year as a show of strength.
Meanwhile, NATO has warned that Russia is massing nuclear-capable missiles along with 30,000 troops in Belarus.
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO general secretary, said earlier this week that Russia has already deployed thousands of troops including Spetsnaz special forces, along with Iskander missiles that can be tipped with nukes, fighter jets, and S-400 anti-aircraft systems.
As war fears mounted, Ukrainian authorities launched a series of drills for civilians to prepare for a possible Russian invasion
In recent months, Russia has conducted a series of joint drills with Belarus and repeatedly sent its nuclear-capable long-range bombers to patrol the skies over its neighbour, which borders Nato members Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. (Above, a Russian soldier taking part in a military exercise on Saturday)
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