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Is Russia about to make a 'serious mistake' in Ukraine? | The Hill |

Earlier Russian military actions also spurred unease. In September, Russia and Belarus conducted a huge Zapad-21 military exercise, "far more robust" than one four years prior. Last spring in an out-of-cycle move [Moscow Times], Russia shifted substantial forces closer to Ukraine and into Crimea. The U.S. European Command raised its alert level, and U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley contacted Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov.

Kremlin rebukes also cause anxiety. On Nov. 1, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned of "attempts to carry out provocations ... and drag Russia into some kind of combat." Some in the West might see this as cover for renewed aggression. On Oct. 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin said a visit by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to Ukraine had "opened doors" for it to join NATO. This is a distant prospect. Putin aide Dmitri Medvedev claims Ukraine's leaders are hostage to "rabid" [Moscow Times] nationalist forces, which is erroneous.

Pentagon Chief: No Country Has 'Veto' on Ukraine's NATO Aspirations | VOA |

by Oui on Sun Nov 14th, 2021 at 05:49:44 PM EST

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