February 04, 2022

Russian Troops in Final Stages of Readiness Add to Worries for Ukraine

Featuring Michael Kofman

Source: The New York Times

Journalist Michael Schwirtz

While Russia is not yet capable of mounting a total invasion of Ukraine, portions of its army have reached full combat strength and appear to be in the final stages of readiness for military action should the Kremlin order it, according to an assessment by the Ukrainian military’s high command.

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In the coming weeks, Russia will likely conduct a series of military drills meant to test the preparedness of its forces, said Michael Kofman, the director of Russia studies at CNA, a research institute based in Arlington, Va. After that, the troops need only to get in their vehicles and head for the Ukrainian border, he said.

What a military operation might look at this point is hotly debated.

In late January, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that Russia had deployed enough forces to invade all of Ukraine, and suggested that fighting could even extend to the streets of Kyiv, the capital, something Mr. Kofman agrees with.

“The Russian military is positioning itself to be able to conduct a large scale military operation against Ukraine, and its force posture indicates that if given the order they’re going to conduct a multi-axis attack,” Mr. Kofman said.

Read the full story and more from The New York Times.

Authors

  • Michael Kofman

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    Michael Kofman serves as a Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Naval Analyses' Russia Studies Program, and a Fellow at the Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson Internation...