Moscow has put what appear to be final preparations for an invasion of Ukraine by sending medical units to the front, moving to a level of readiness that it hadn’t reached in past buildups, according to Western defense officials.
While the moves don’t mean an attack is certain, they are prerequisites for battle and have intensified debates among Western allies over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intentions. The U.S. and European allies, particularly Germany and France, appear to be drawing different conclusions from identical intelligence.
The White House said Thursday that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz would make his first official visit on Feb. 7 and listed the situation around Ukraine as the top agenda item.
The Kremlin’s spokesman said there was little optimism in Moscow that the West would accept its demands over de-escalating the standoff over Ukraine, and said Putin would take his time in considering proposals delivered by the U.S. and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization a day earlier.
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