U.S. Warns of Grim Toll if Putin Pursues Full Invasion of Ukraine

Mr. Putin has additionally deployed Particular Operations forces — some 1,500 troops — close to and even contained in the Ukrainian border, the officers informed lawmakers. These troops, they mentioned, work carefully with the Russian navy intelligence company, the G.R.U., which has up to now directed cyber and different assaults on foes.

European officers are usually extra skeptical that Mr. Putin would attempt to take the nation in a large-scale invasion. Some imagine that he would search to take the Donbas area of jap Ukraine, the place a grinding proxy conflict has been underway since 2014.

One other principle is that Mr. Putin may broaden that operation in an effort to annex all of jap Ukraine, as much as the Dnieper River. Alongside the way in which he may attempt to decimate Ukrainian troops in that a part of the nation, roughly half of the Ukrainian navy. That might incite panic within the western a part of Ukraine — the place resistance to Russia may be highest — and immediate individuals to flee the nation. Over time, that might lead high authorities officers to flee or to attempt to rule from exile.

American and European officers have made clear {that a} bodily assault over the borders of Ukraine would result in huge sanctions on Russia’s banks, commerce restrictions on semiconductors and different high-tech objects and the freezing of the accounts of Russian oligarchs and leaders. However there’s far much less unanimity, as President Biden himself has acknowledged, about how to reply to a “minor incursion.” And even what a minor incursion may be.

European and American officers fear that Mr. Putin would possibly attempt to stage a coup in Kyiv. One other risk is a cyberattack devised by Russia that tries to convey down components or all of Ukraine’s electrical and communications infrastructure, just like the 2015 and 2016 assaults on components of the nation’s electrical grid.

European officers say it’s unclear how the Western allies would reply to such an assault. In the event that they believed that the cyberoperations have been a face-saving approach for Mr. Putin to behave after which retreat, they notice, there may be a temptation to de-escalate and never search to impose main sanctions, particularly if there have been few human casualties. However, a cyberattack may very well be a prelude to a full invasion, primarily slicing off Ukraine’s potential to speak or observe the place Russian forces have been coming from.

Michael Schwirtz contributed reporting from Kyiv, Ukraine.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/05/us/politics/russia-ukraine-invasion.html U.S. Warns of Grim Toll if Putin Pursues Full Invasion of Ukraine

Fry Electronics Team

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