Intelligence from the CIA and the Secret Service along with NATO sources have confirmed that Russia has enough troops and military hardware to launch a full scale invasion next week in the Ukraine.
US officials have said the full scale invasion could happen by Wednesday this week although NATO sources have said it is most likely going to happen by Saturday.
It is not understood of the assessments are from analysis by the CIA or if the intelligence has come direct from Russian sources.
US officials have warned there could be a “an horrific, bloody campaign that begins with two days or aerial bombardment and electronic warfare, followed by an invasion, with the possible goal of regime change.”
The Defence Committee chair Tobias Ellwood MP warned, “This is our Cuban missile crisis moment.”
If we allow Ukraine to fall then there will be a “new era of instability with a Russia and China axis developing” with the West “shrinking in size.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, “The number of Russian troops is increasing, as is their readiness and capability to conduct military actions in a very short time frame.
“There is a real danger of invasion and we are preparing for many different scenarios.”
One of the first indicators of an invasion is a “maritime blackout” and military analysts have said Vladimir Putin is using the West’s “Iraq 2003 playbook.”
“Russia is reading our Iraq 2003 playbook,“ said Justin Cromp, CEO of risk strategist Sibylline.
“There’s already a maritime blackout – one of the first indicators of invasion. This also means a no-fly zone which cuts NATO out of the northern Black Sea.
“They are already disseminating disinformation – like when we texted Iraqi generals – and they will demolish infrastructure.
“As in Iraq, the aerial campaign will mean Russia has control of aerial intelligence. NATO will no longer be able to use Rivet Joint aircraft to provide Istar intelligence and reconnaissance, leaving Ukraine blinded and no longer able to see 100km into Russian borders to see what units are being moved and when.
“Ukraine will be down to landlines – if they work.”
General Sir Richard Barrons, who led UK Joint Force Command until 2016 said it is most likely that Russia would do smaller incursions.
“Russia’s aerial bombardment will be more dominated by long-range precision missiles and rockets, and it is now capable of linking them to cyber attacks on critical infrastructure and military systems, such as command and control and air defence, radars and power grid,” he warned.
“The aim of Iraq 2003 was to get rid of Saddam Hussein. But If Putin acts in the same way, he opens up a vast opportunity for the West to provoke regime change in Russia,” he added.
“Even if he had sufficient forces to hold Ukraine, which is doubtful, there is no groundswell of support in Russia for this. This is a war with less than 0.1 percent of Russia’s population.
“Instead of fighting for territory, Ukraine’s large forces should aim to put as many young Russians in body bags as quickly as possible.
“The West will convey this to as many Russians as possible using social media with messages like: ‘If you haven’t heard from your son, he’s dead’.
“Couple this with economic isolation, angry oligarchs, a trashed currency, trade and income, and Putin’s regime may find it’s not as well insulated as he thinks.”