Russian offensive possible in Jan: Ukraine minister – The Daily Star

Ukraine warned yesterday that Russia could launch a large-scale attack on the country in late January as tensions soar over an alleged Russian troop build-up near Kiev’s borders.
The United States and its allies have for weeks accused Russia of planning an invasion of Ukraine and massing troops along Kiev’s borders.
Moscow seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and has since backed separatists fighting Kiev in eastern Ukraine. The conflict has left more than 13,000 dead. Russia denies planning an attack.
“The most likely time to reach readiness for escalation will be the end of January,” Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said.
Addressing parliament, Reznikov said Ukrainian intelligence was analysing all possible scenarios.
“The possibility of a large-scale escalation from Russia exists,” he warned.
The minister said a “winter training period” had started in Russia and that Moscow had already launched exercises near Ukrainian territory.
He estimated that Russia had around 100,000 troops near Ukraine’s border, in Moscow-controlled Crimea and in separatist-held areas in eastern Ukraine.
The United States this week said it had “evidence” Russia could be planning an invasion, threatening Moscow with economic sanctions if it attacks. Russia has dismissed the allegations as “hysteria.”
Reznikov said escalation was a “likely scenario”.
He said Ukraine and its allies should make the cost of a possible attack “unacceptable for the aggressor.”
He reiterated that Ukraine was seeking a “political-diplomatic settlement” to the tensions and that it would not carry out “military provocations.”
Ukraine and its Western allies accuse Russia of sending troops and arms across the border to support the separatists — claims Moscow denies.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Moscow on Thursday of the “severe costs” Russia would pay in case of an escalation, urging his Russian counterpart to seek a diplomatic exit from the crisis.
Blinken said it was likely that Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin would speak soon. Work is under way to arrange a video call between them, the Kremlin said yesterday, a day after their top diplomats met to discuss Ukraine.
তথ্য ও সম্প্রচার প্রতিমন্ত্রী ডা. মুরাদ হাসানের পদত্যাগপত্র গ্রহণ করেছেন রাষ্ট্রপতি  মো. আবদুল হামিদ। 


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