The British Armed Forces Minister James Heappey has warned that Russia is “closer” to war as the Kremlin sends 20 attack helicopters and a field hospital close to the border with Ukraine.
Heappey told Sky News, “Unfortunately, despite the message coming out of the Kremlin that troops were going to start moving away from the Ukrainian border, over the last 48 hours we’ve seen the opposite and more troops still arriving.
“There’s been an anonymous briefing from the US overnight saying 7,000 more troops have moved forward – that’s not necessarily a figure that we recognise here in London but definitely illustrates that more troops are moving closer to the Ukrainian border, bridges are being built, field hospitals constructed and all of that, I think, is quite worrying and goes to underline the imminence of this if not the inevitability.”
General Mikk Marran, Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service Chief, also warned that Russia is “ready to attack at any moment” as there is now 170,000 troops stationed on three sides of Ukraine.
General Marran has said Russia is continuing to move thousands of troops to the Ukrainian border and Vladimir Putin will likely launch a “limited” military attack “at any moment.”
He surmised that it is most likely Russian troops would avoid cities with large populations, “as it takes a lot of troops to control those areas,” but is it not clear “what avenue” the Kremlin will take.
General Marran added, “We are now counting all together between 150,000 and 170,000 troops close to the borders.”