Russia-Ukraine crisis: NATO expects a large-scale attack from Moscow

The Secretary General of NATO said on Tuesday, February 22, that he expected a large-scale attack from Russia in Ukraine. “Everything suggests that Russia is planning a massive attack in Ukraine” after sending troops to the pro-Russian separatist territories of Donbass in the east of the country, Jens Stoltenberg said after an extraordinary meeting of the NATO-Ukraine commission at the Alliance’s headquarters in Brussels.

>> Conflict between Russia and Ukraine: follow the latest information

“We don’t know if Russia has recognized the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts or just the parts occupied by the separatists. It’s not clear”he added, while speaking just before Vladimir Putin announced the recognition of the sovereignty of the separatists over all of the regions of Lugansk and Donetsk.

A “Rapid Reaction Force” of 40,000 troops

“Russia had promised to withdraw its troops and instead it is concentrating more forces, in combat formation, ready to strike”he said. “Other troops are in Donbass, in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, and this is aggravating the situation”he added. “To this must be added the threatening rhetoric of Vladimir Putin”he insisted. “NATO is ready to defend the allies. The Rapid Reaction Force is on alert, but it has not been deployed”he announced.

This Force has 40,000 troops and has a very high readiness joint operational force (VJTF) of 8,000 soldiers, including 7,000 French, with an air component currently under French command.

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