Diplomats from the US and Russia have shuttled across Europe for security talks over Ukraine but military analysts have had their eye on more ominous movements: the further deployment by Moscow of arms and personnel around its border with its southern neighbour.
Russia has bolstered its military presence on the border with Ukraine while engaging in weeks of diplomatic talks, with a series of deployments that western officials and analysts say could indicate preparations for a renewed invasion.
Russia’s military posture showed “they could initiate a conflict within a matter of weeks rather than months”, said Michael Kofman, a senior research scientist at CNA, a Washington-based think-tank. “They sent quite a few units [ . . . ] before any conversations even took place. So clearly they weren’t betting very much on diplomatic success . . . the likelihood of war has increased considerably in the last week.”
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