U.S. Prepares 8,500 Troops for Potential NATO Deployment in Ukraine

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As the United States gears up for a possible Russian invasion into Ukraine, the Pentagon has ordered for 8,500 troops to remain on “high alert.” This force, which would operate under NATO, would be deployed into Europe to support American allies overseas. President Biden also announced on January 23 that the U.S. may deploy ships and aircraft along with NATO forces in Eastern Europe. 

Reports from The Washington Post detailed how the conflict between Ukraine and Russia has been deeply rooted since Ukraine separated from the USSR in 1991.

Ukraine is vastly different in terms of the political and cultural landscape; however, Putin maintains that Ukraine still belongs to the “Russian Civilization.”

In 2014, Ukraine underwent a revolution, fueled by a deal with Moscow as helmed by President Viktor Yanukovych. Nevertheless, during Ukraine’s two revolutions (in 2005 and 2014), the country sought an alliance with the European Union to escape Russia’s grasp. 

“Paradoxically, Russia is helping to strengthen the Ukrainian sense of nation that some Russian politicians claim does not truly exist,” says Ivar Dale, a senior adviser from the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.

Putin’s presence against Ukraine gets him closer to the West, both literally and figuratively, as Al Jazeera noted.

On December 7, Biden and Putin met over a secure video call, wherein, according to the statement released by the White House, “President Biden voiced the deep concerns of the United States and our European Allies about Russia’s escalation of forces surrounding Ukraine and made clear that the U.S. and our Allies would respond with strong economic and other measures in the event of military escalation.”

The statement also mentioned that “President Biden reiterated his support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and called for de-escalation and a return to diplomacy” while on the call.

Al Jazeera and RadioFree Europe report that during the call, Putin emphasized “Russia is seriously interested in obtaining reliable, legally fixed guarantees that rule out NATO expansion eastward and the deployment of offensive strike weapons systems in states adjacent to Russia.”

This is similar to announcements that, according to Al Jazeera, Putin made near the beginning of December, where he stated that Russia would seek “reliable and long-term security guarantees.” He explained, “In a dialogue with the United States and its allies, we will insist on working out specific agreements that would exclude any further NATO moves eastward and the deployment of weapons systems that threaten us in close vicinity to Russian territory.”

Now, the military presence within Russia has reached a high near Ukraine. The Associated Press (AP) states that there is a large number of tanks, artillery, and infantry, fully prepared for a potential altercation. 

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby observed, “It’s very clear the Russians have no intention right now of de-escalating… What this is about, though, is reassurance to our NATO allies.” 

Although the White House claims to have no intention of initializing a war with Russia, Biden has voiced a commitment to stand his ground concerning Putin.

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