Russia appears to have the capability to invade Ukraine any time it wishes. The forces are in place, the tanks are gassed up, the only thing apparently missing is the “Go” code from Vladimir Putin. And that could come this weekend, next weekend – or never.
James Miller, writing in The Daily Beast, thinks all the signs point to an invasion this weekend:
Right now Russia is moving troops, armor, and advanced antiaircraft missiles toward the border with Ukraine. In the last 48 hours, dozens of videos have been uploaded to social-media sites that show Russian armor very close to the border, many of them confirmed to be within mere kilometers of Ukraine.
On Thursday, my team at The Interpreter definitively geolocated Russian armor only 2,000 meters (and closing) from the border and a Buk, the same type of missile that likely took down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, only a few hours from being within range of Ukraine’s air force. Columns of tanks, marked with the same painted numbers and flat, pale-green paint we’ve seen in Ukraine since (at least) June 20th, were spotted moving en masse toward a key border crossing. Some Ukrainian journalists are reporting that at least some of this armor has already crossed the border. …
The Ukrainian government now says that its military has detected even more advanced antiaircraft batteries lined up on its border.
There is now significant evidence that Russia is openly supporting the separatists militarily and many experts now believe that Russia could invade and beat back the Ukrainian anti-terror operation.
An open war between Ukraine and Russia may have already begun.
Miller points to reports in social media of large numbers of armor either already in Ukraine or very close to the border. But the big question is does Russia really need to invade?