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Russia will invade Ukraine in new year, says Kiev’s chief of defense intelligence

Published: Updated:

Russia is preparing to invade Ukraine at the beginning of next year as Moscow has amassed more than 92,000 troops at the border, the head of Ukraine’s defense intelligence agency told Military Times on Saturday.

“Such an attack would likely involve airstrikes, artillery and armor attacks followed by airborne assaults in the east, amphibious assaults in Odessa and Mariupul and a smaller incursion through neighboring Belarus,” said Ukraine Brig. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov.

Budanov estimates Russia is preparing for an attack by the end of January or beginning of February.

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“The attack Russia is preparing would be far more devastating than anything before seen in the conflict that began in 2014 that has seen some 14,000 Ukrainians killed,” Budanov added.

Tensions between Ukraine and Russia heightened this year when Moscow massed troops near the border and fighting intensified in eastern Ukraine. The two countries' relations have soured over the years since Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014.

The US, NATO, and Kiev have been expressing their concern over Russia’s latest movements near its border with Ukraine over the past two weeks.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “Attempts to resolve the Ukrainian crisis by force will trigger serious consequences… Ukraine is most likely seeking another attempt to start solving its own problem by force, creating another disaster for itself and for everyone in Europe.”

Peskov said that the West’s “hysteria” over the possibility of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine were “being escalated artificially.”

“Those who have brought their armed forces overseas are accusing us of some unusual military activity on our territory. That is, the US. Well, this is not entirely logical and not entirely decent,” Peskov added.

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