The Russian military has been given orders by President Vladimir Putin to commence the invasion of neighboring Ukraine, according to a report on Sunday.
“The President was very clear that he is convinced by U.S. intelligence that this invasion will happen, that President Putin decided to do it,” CBS News host Margaret Brennan said. “How was he that certain?”
“Because the intelligence says that Russian troops have actually received orders now, to proceed with the invasion,” CBS News correspondent David Martin said.
“So not only are they moving up closer and closer to the border into these attack positions, but the commanders on the ground are making specific plans for how they would maneuver in their sector of the battlefield,” Martin added.
“They’re doing everything that American commanders would do once they got the order to proceed,” he added.
NEWS: The U.S. has intelligence that Russian troops have received orders to proceed with an invasion of Ukraine. “The commanders on the ground are making specific plans for how they would maneuver in their sector of the battlefield,” CBS David Martin reports on .
— Face The Nation
The CBS News report comes as Putin has amassed approximately 190,000 troops near the Ukraine border, effectively surrounding it.
Also, on Friday, a U.S. official told reporters that 40-50 percent of the up to 190,000 Russian soldiers near Ukraine’s borders are now “in an attack position.”
“They have uncoiled in tactical assembly in the last 48 hours,” the official said.
Agence France Presse adds:
Tactical assembly points are areas next to the border where military units set up in advance of an attack. The official said Moscow had massed 125 battalion tactical groups close to the Ukraine border, compared to 60 in normal times and up from 80 at the beginning of February.
The increase in clashes between pro-Russian separatists in the southeastern Donbass region of Ukraine and Ukraine government forces, and inflammatory claims by officials in Russia and Donbass, show that “the destabilization campaign has begun,” the official said.
Earlier in the week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told The Daily Wire why Russia held off invading Ukraine until now.
“Putin has long wanted to invade Ukraine. Putin has been very candid, he has described the dissolution of the Soviet Union as in his view, the most disastrous geopolitical event of the 20th century,” Cruz said. “And his ambitions have long been to reassemble the Soviet Union,” Cruz said.
“He yearns for what he sees as the days of Soviet greatness. If you’re going to reassemble the Soviet Union, the first and most important part is Ukraine, the breadbasket of the former Soviet Union, Putin has invaded Ukraine before,” he added.
“He did so in 2014, he invaded Crimea. But he stopped short, he didn’t invade the entirety of the country, and the reason he didn’t is because he needs Ukrainian energy infrastructure,” Cruz continued. “Russia’s major export is natural gas and oil, and that natural gas goes right through the middle of Ukraine on pipelines.
“If he invaded Ukraine, he risks damaging or destroying that energy infrastructure, which would mean that he could not get his natural gas to market in Europe,” Cruz said.
“Accordingly, the next year in 2015, Putin began building a pipeline called Nord Stream 2, an undersea pipeline that goes directly from Russia to Germany, designed to circumvent Ukraine so he could march into Ukraine and not risk getting his gas to market.”