WASHINGTON – As Russian forces advance toward Kyiv with what the Pentagon describes as the apparent aim of “beheading” the Ukrainian government, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III has sent an additional 7,000 troops to Europe. when the continent was facing its biggest land war since World War. II.
The Pentagon has ordered the deployment of an armored brigade combat team to Germany to calm morale NATO Allies in Eastern Europe, said Pentagon press secretary John F. Kirby. In particular, US military officials believe that this move is to warn the President Vladimir V. Putin Russia that while the United States does not send troops to Ukraine, it will not hesitate to act if he turns his eyes on a member of the North Atlantic alliance.
Senior Pentagon officials have repeatedly called their European counterparts about what Mr. Kirby called “Russia’s illegal and destabilizing actions.” He said that US troops moving towards Germany would be able to quickly redeploy to other countries on NATO’s eastern flank when needed.
Military officials have issued a stark assessment of the damage to Ukraine in the 24 hours following the Russian invasion. They said that Russian warplanes carried out more than 160 airstrikes on Ukrainian military facilities and air defense systems.
More ominously, they say, Russia’s three lines of force, with a Goliath-scale advantage over the Ukrainian army, are rapidly converging on three Ukrainian cities: Kharkiv to the east, Kherson to the south and the capital. Kyiv with its three cities. million inhabitants. In Kyiv, a senior military official said the target appeared to be the president’s government. Volodymyr Zelensky. The forces, the official said, are assembling from Belarus to the north and Crimea to the south, using long-range rockets and artillery.
The Pentagon’s assessment suggests that “they have every intention of beheading the government and installing their own method of governance,” the official told reporters during a briefing at the Department of Defense. Even acknowledging that the Pentagon did not have “perfect knowledge” of Russian troop movements, he described what he described as “the early stages of a large-scale invasion,” from Belarus and Crimea.
Russian forces have so far hit Ukrainian military installations and air defense targets using a variety of shorter and medium-range ballistic missiles. Russia has also used ship-launched missiles in the Black Sea, the official said. So far, it has not hit the west of Ukraine.
Military officials say Ukrainian forces have resisted, with the heaviest fighting in Kharkiv.
“We haven’t seen a conventional move like this, from country to country, since World War II, and if it unfolds the way we believe it will, it does, it does. potentially very bloody, very expensive and very damaging to European security.
A US official noted that while the Ukrainian military was outnumbered by Russia, the Ukrainian military was still able to inflict some damage on Russian troops as the fighting continued.
Understanding Russia’s Attack on Ukraine
What is the root cause of this invasion? Russia considers Ukraine to be inside its natural sphere of influence, and it became irritated by Ukraine’s proximity to the West and the prospect of it joining NATO or the European Union. Although Ukraine is not included in this category, it receives financial and military aid from the United States and Europe.
Pentagon officials had expected that Russian forces would cut off lines of communication within the Ukrainian military within the first hours of an invasion; that hasn’t happened yet, a senior military official said.
American troops heading to Europe will not go to Ukraine; President Biden has denied that. But Thursday’s deployment of the 1st Brigade of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division would bring the number of American troops up to 14,000 that Biden has brought closer to fighting since the Ukraine crisis began. Their arrival would entail nearly 100,000 American troops in Europe.
The deployment comes as Mr. Biden warned on Thursday that the United States would “get involved” if Putin made any moves with the countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
The Pentagon this week sent six F-35 fighter jets and a host of other warplanes to Eastern Europe in support of NATO allies. Mr. Austin also sent a task force of infantry battalion – about 800 troops – to the Baltics. Soldiers and fighters were in the European theater, the official said.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/24/us/politics/us-troops-deploy-europe.html Pentagon orders 7,000 more troops to Europe