Russia will be able to overrun Ukraine in two days and an invasion would kill 50,000 civilians, warns US intelligence – and Putin is planning a nuclear exercise to warn off the West
- Western intelligence assessments believe Kyiv’s government could fall within that timeframe, and lead to humanitarian crisis involving around 5m refugees
- Likelihood of a diplomatic resolution of crisis appears increasingly slim, the analysis concluded
- NATO has warned that Russia is massing nuclear-capable missiles along with 30,000 troops in Belarus
- Vladimir Putin urged US and its allies to roll back alliance deployments to Eastern Europe – demands which have been flatly rejected
Russia would be able to overrun Ukraine in just two days in an invasion that could kill 50,000 civilians, according to US intelligence.
Western intelligence assessments also believe Kyiv’s government would fall within that timeframe, and lead to a humanitarian crisis involving around 5million refugees.
The likelihood of a diplomatic resolution of the crisis appears to be increasingly slim, the analysis concluded.
Referring to an earlier build-up last year, one European official – speaking on condition of anonymity – told the Washington Post: ‘Our worry would be that you don’t park battle groups … on the border of another country twice and do nothing.
‘I think that’s the real fear that I have. [Putin’s] now put them all out there. If he does nothing again … what does that say to the wider international community about the might of Russia?’
It comes as US military and intelligence officials believe Russia is set to run a major nuclear weapons exercise in the coming weeks as a warning to Nato not to intervene in the event of Putin invading Ukraine, the Financial Times reported.