Expert warns Russia gearing up for invasion 'next month'
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Former senior CIA analyst Andrea Kendall-Taylor has discussed President Joe Biden’s “different posture” on Russia amid growing concern that the Kremlin will send troops to invade Ukraine. President Biden is reported to have phoned Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to warn him that a Russian invasion could take place as early as “next month.”
Ms Kendall-Taylor told CNBC: “So I think we’re already seeing the United States shift into a different posture to approach this conflict as it becomes increasingly likely that Russia will invade.
“This week President Biden put 8,500 troops on high readiness, as did our NATO allies.
“So we’re shifting now I think from a posture where we tried to create space for diplomacy where we were working through deterrence by punishment, through sanctions to this more active posture where I think we are, you know, stepping up our preparedness for what looks like conflict.”
It comes as the Russian Navy conducted live-fire drills in the Baltic Sea in a provocative move designed to increase pressure on NATO amid escalating tensions over Ukraine.
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American news outlet CNBC has reported on newly released footage by Russia’s Ministry of Defence showing “target practice” drills taking place.
CNBC’s David Shepard said: “Russia continues to ramp up military forces near Ukraine.
“This is a new video from today of Russian tank and artillery drills near the Ukrainian border.
“Russian warships deployed to the Baltic Sea for target practice as they put it, the Baltic Sea surrounded by six NATO countries.
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“Russia and state media report the ships wiped out all of the aerial targets.
“Even more Russian fighter jets have arrived in Belarus,’ added the American anchorman.
“That’s a close Russian ally that also borders Ukraine.
“Belarusians say the Russian forces are there only for joint military exercises and they will leave once they’re complete.”
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It comes as an international relations expert warned that Russian leader Vladimir Putin was determined to make Russia a “significant power in the world”.
Cambridge University lecturer Ian Shields told Express.co.uk: “Putin will send troops in – I think he’s confident that the downsides would be worth the risks. He would see it as much as anything as a tool to continue to fracture the Western alliance.”
He added: “You only have to look at Putin’s character, the pictures of him riding around on horses with no shirt on -he has a strongman vision, which is hugely positive in Russian domestic politics.
“He is a cold war warrior, he still has negative feelings towards the demise of the Soviet Union.. Russia coming second in the Cold War.. he is looking to establish Russia as a significant power in the world.”
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