US: Russian invasion of Ukraine would create 5 mn refugees

Washington, Feb 6 (EFE).- A large-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine would result in more than 50,000 dead and wounded and create about five million refugees who would try to escape to other countries, according to the latest evaluation of the situation by the Pentagon and US intelligence services.

According to this analysis, cited by The Washington Post on Sunday, in a full-scale invasion Russian troops could manage to take Kiev in two days and some 50,000 people would be killed or injured in the desperate fighting.

In addition, US officials said a war would spark a humanitarian crisis with some five million Ukrainian refugees streaming out of the country and into neighboring nations, most of them into Poland.

The daily said that this scenario was laid out by Washington’s top military and intelligence officials in meetings this weekend with US lawmakers.

These reports come as Russia continues to increase the number of its troops and military resources stationed along its border with Ukraine and in neighboring Belarus, which borders Ukraine on the north.

Specifically, these massed troop deployments include 83 Russian battalions with approximately 750 soldiers each, along with additional logistical, medical and aviation personnel.

In this regard, last week the Pentagon publicly warned that Russia could invent a pretext for attacking Ukraine, something currently termed a “false flag” operation.

Defense Department spokesman John Kirby said at a press conference that Russia was planning to create a “very graphic” video purporting to show a Ukrainian attack on Russian territory or Russian-speaking people in eastern Ukraine, adding that “Our experience is that very little of this nature is not approved at the highest levels of the Russian government.”

He said that such a Kremlin-approved video would probably show alleged corpses of people killed in the bogus attack, along with actors simulating people mourning the dead, with scenes of supposed wartime destruction as well as Ukrainian or Western military equipment and weaponry.

Those weapons, he added, could be represented in such a way that they might seem to have been supplied to Ukraine by Western nations.

Tensions in the region have skyrocketed over the past month with the mobilization of more than 100,000 Russian soldiers along its border with Ukraine, activity that has led the US and Russia to launch propaganda barrages at one another.

Moscow has repeated numerous times that it does not want a war with Kiev and that it is not threatening Ukraine, while Washington recently has been warning that an “imminent” attack is possible, although this past week the US administration began saying that a potential Russian attack could come “at any moment.”

EFE afs/eat/bp

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