From Reuters: NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, voiced concern about Moscow using a tactic of snap military exercises to prepare its forces for possible rapid incursions into a neighboring state, as it had done in the case of Ukraine’s Crimea region. . . .
“The (Russian) force that is at the Ukrainian border now to the east is very, very sizeable and very, very ready,” Breedlove told an event held by the German Marshall Fund think-tank. . . .
“There is absolutely sufficient (Russian) force postured on the eastern border of Ukraine to run to Transdniestria if the decision was made to do that and that is very worrisome.”
NATO had tried to make Russia a partner but “now it is very clear that Russia is acting much more like an adversary than a partner,” he said.
From Reuters: U.S. President Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken said the build-up might just be aimed at intimidating Ukraine’s new pro-Western leaders but that Russia could invade the country’s mainly Russian-speaking east. “It’s possible that they are preparing to move in,” he told CNN. . . .
Blinken said Washington was considering all requests for military assistance from the government in Kiev, but that it would be unlikely to prevent an invasion of Ukraine, which is not part of NATO. Breedlove said the military alliance needed to think about its eastern members, particularly the former Soviet Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
“We need to think about our allies, the positioning of our forces in the alliance and the readiness of those forces … such that we can be there to defend against it if required, especially in the Baltics and other places,” Breedlove said.