NEWSWATCH: “AS TRUMP FUMBLES, #PUTIN QUIETLY PREPARES TO INVADE HIS NEIGHBORS” – Newsweek/ Atlantic Council/ STEPHEN BLANK

File Photo of Russian Tanks in Military Parade

Recent #Russian actions suggest a new stage of the Russian threat to #Ukraine – and potentially to the #Caucasus, #Belarus or the #Baltic states as well-that could presage a new large-scale #military operation. … in 2016, Russia created 25 division formations and 15 brigades, while raising manpower by only 10,000 men. … Russia may aim to wage protracted large-scale war using the Soviet model, with a Soviet-type army composed of ‘skeleton units’ that existed solely on paper until they were called up as part of the process of mass mobilization. … apparent from  … military exercises in 2016 where Moscow mobilized forces from the Ministry of Interior, banks to pay soldiers’ wages in the fields and hospitals to provide field hospitals, as well as entire provincial civilian administrations. … Moscow created the 1st Guards Tank Army, the 40th Army and the 8th Army, and deployed them all around Ukraine’s borders … [with] headquarters … at Rostov-On-Don, from where it could strike toward the Caucasus … the Middle East. … [or] Belarus …. In addition, Russia has created four new divisions … headquartered 50, 45 and 255 kilometers from the Ukrainian border … * * * [there are additional detailed military factors cited by the author] … Cyber strikes are also continuing. … [and] … a steady escalation in the number and size of Russian forces’ ceasefire violations … It is likely that a period of maximum danger to Ukraine, Belarus or the Caucasus is approaching.”

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[featured image is file photo, not directly related to article subject matter]