Business Intelligence on March 26, 2014, reported that details of a classified intelligence assessment viewed by CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr show a “more probable” likelihood that Russia could move into eastern Ukraine. Excerpts below:

With Russian military forces currently staging training exercises in Transdniestria, a breakaway sliver of Moldova, the House Armed Services Committee notes that Moscow may “invade eastern and southern Ukraine, pressing west to Transdinestria and also seek land grabs in the Baltics.”

“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 Supreme Allied Commander Europe Gen. Philip Breedlove told Reuters on March 22.

Among new details about Russia’s possible intentions in the report:

• Russian troops on the border of eastern Ukraine — now more than 30,000 — number “significantly more” than what is needed for what Russia is calling a training exercise.

• These troops include a large number of motorized units, which have the ability to deploy quickly. There also appears to be a higher level of activity among special forces, airborne, and air transport troops inside Russia.

• Additional intelligence shows more Russian forces “reinforcing” the border region.

Writing in Politico on March 25, John Schindler, a former NSA counterintelligence officer, sees moves from Russia as the beginning of “Cold War 2.0.”

“Since the annexation of Crimea, Russian intelligence has reportedly been employing its playbook in eastern and southern Ukraine, using spies and operatives to stir up trouble among ethnic Russians and lay the groundwork for a future invasion by ‘self-defense militias’ backed by Russian troops,” he wrote.


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