1000’s Extra US Troops Heading to Europe as Risk of Russian Invasion of Ukraine Grows

President Joe Biden on Friday ordered the deployment of three,000 extra troops to Europe to bolster NATO’s japanese flank as U.S. officers gave an pressing warning that Russia is now on the cusp of invading Ukraine.

The paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division have been ordered to deploy to Poland, based on a senior protection official. These troopers have been anticipated to depart Fort Bragg, North Carolina, shortly and be on the bottom in Poland “by early subsequent week.”

The deployment comes along with 1,700 troopers from the 82nd Airborne and XVIII Airborne Corps who began mobilizing Feb. 2. Practically two-thirds of that first set of troopers have arrived in Poland, and 300 troopers who’re principally administrative personnel have been despatched to Germany.

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In all, about 5,000 paratroopers from Fort Bragg are mobilizing amid the Ukraine disaster. Russian President Vladimir Putin insists that the previous Soviet republic by no means be allowed to hitch the NATO alliance, and has spent almost a yr massing navy forces round its border.

The elevated U.S. troop deployment comes because the Biden administration sounded the alarm Friday that Putin now has sufficient troops, tanks, artillery and warships encircling Ukraine to mount an invasion — probably earlier than the tip of the Winter Olympics in Beijing on Feb. 20, Jake Sullivan, Biden’s nationwide safety adviser, advised reporters Friday.

“We proceed to see indicators of Russian escalation, together with new forces arriving on the Ukrainian border,” Sullivan mentioned. “We’re in an pressing scenario. … Russia might select briefly order to begin a significant navy motion towards Ukraine.”

Biden has pledged that U.S. troops won’t be despatched to struggle in Ukraine, which isn’t a member of NATO. As an alternative, the U.S. has pledged to defend alliance members in japanese Europe towards Russian aggression. It and different alliance international locations have despatched navy support to the Ukrainians and labored by means of diplomatic means to dissuade Putin from invading.

However diplomacy has to date didn’t de-escalate the tense standoff. In an interview with NBC News on Thursday, Biden urged American civilians to depart Ukraine.

“Americans ought to go away now,” the president mentioned. “It isn’t like we’re coping with a terrorist group. We’re coping with one of many largest armies on this planet. It is a very completely different scenario, and issues might go loopy shortly.”

Earlier this week, U.S. troops with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, a Stryker squadron based mostly out of Germany, started arriving in Romania, and about 1,000 are anticipated to reach within the coming days.

The U.S. has some 80,000 troops already in Europe, together with these completely stationed and on pre-planned rotations, in addition to Nationwide Guard items from Oregon, Washington state and California.

— Steve Beynon will be reached at Steve.Beynon@navy.com. Comply with him on Twitter @StevenBeynon.

Associated: US Troops Trickling into Europe as Putin Plenty Forces Round Ukraine

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