MainPolitical

Scoop of the weekend: Ukrainian defence minister says Russia can pull up to 175,000 to border

Scoop of the weekend: Ukrainian defence minister says Russia can pull up to 175,000 to border

Border situation

Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has described as realistic the forecast that Russia may bring the number of troops around Ukraine to 175,000. He noted that Russia continues to build its presence at the borders, Interfax-Ukraine reported, citing an interview by the Ukrainian defense minister with Estonian TV

"If this trend continues, there will soon be 175,000. Today we estimate the number of these forces on our border at 94,000," he said, adding that the findings of Ukrainian and US intelligence services match.

Russian spending

Russia spends about 10m dollars daily to keep over 94,000 military personnel near Ukraine's borders and in the temporarily occupied territories, Andriy Ryzhenko, 1st rank captain and former deputy chief of staff of the Ukrainian Navy, said on the air of the Dom TV channel.

"Yes, it costs serious money. If we take as a constant the figure mentioned by Defence Minister Reznikov - 94,000 Russian military personnel at Ukraine's borders - maintaining such a group could cost about 10m dollars a day," the expert said.

Russia's "plan"

According to the German tabloid Bild, the Russian Federation is considering a plan to seize two thirds of Ukraine's territory together with the capital Kyiv.

It is noted that the information about a possible invasion is based on the assessments of sources in NATO and the security services, which were able to take a peak at some possible plans of a Russian attack.

According to Western intelligence, a Russian attack on Ukraine is planned in three stages in early 2022: southern Ukraine first, followed by an attack in the direction of Dnipro and Poltava, and then an attack on Kyiv.

Belarus

The military attache of the Ukrainian embassy has been summoned to the Belarusian Defence Ministry and handed a note of protest over the "violation of the state border of Belarus in the airspace".

"The reason was the violation of the state border of the Republic of Belarus in the airspace by a Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopter near the village of Novaya Rudnya on 4 December 2021," the ministry said.

Both the State Border Service and the Interior Ministry of Ukraine denied the violation of the state border.

The State Border Service noted that the ongoing Polissya operation, which was launched with a view to strengthening the border with Belarus on 23 November, is making active use of aviation and unmanned aerial vehicles.

"Yesterday was no exception as aviation monitored the situation along the border. During the flights and missions, the pilot did not commit any violations, including no violations of the Belarusian airspace," it explained.

Donbas

No ceasefire violations have been registered in Donbas since the morning of 4 December.

Coal

The second Panamax-class ship has brought 66,000 tonnes of coal to Odesa, DTEK has reported. All seven vessels contracted by DTEK are expected to arrive in Ukraine in November 2021-January 2022.

Crime

Uzhhorod journalist Pavlo Biletskyy's car has burnt down. He suggested it was set on fire in connection with his professional activities.

Read LB.ua news on social networks Facebook, Twitter and Telegram