- Russia has Ukraine surrounded and could move to attack in a matter of days, the US has warned.
- Russia has troops in Belarus, western Russia, and Crimea, with many of its forces just miles from the Ukrainian border.
- Experts say there are several attack routes Russia could take from the north, south, and east.
- For more stories visit Business Insider.
As Russia positions around 150,000 troops and military hardware near the Ukrainian border, the US is warning that Russia could invade Ukraine in a matter of days.
Although Russia has consistently denied plans to attack, it has for months been moving military equipment, troops, and even blood supplies and medical equipment to locations near Ukraine in western Russia, Crimea, and Belarus.
Ukraine’s military is outmatched on almost every level by the Russian military, and expert Russia watchers previously told Insider the former Soviet territory isn’t likely to stand a chance should Russia invade. That is not to say though that they could not put up a fight or inflict losses on the invaders.
There are several potential paths of attack that Russia could pursue, in stages, or simultaneously.
Russia could strike from the north, both from its own territory and out of Belarus, from western Russia through eastern Ukraine, and from the south, relying on forces out of Russian-occupied Crimea, according to a Center for Strategic and International Studies report published last month.
An approach from the north would likely target Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital city. This kind of attack could pave the way for a full regime change in Ukraine.
President Joe Biden said on Friday that the US believes Russia “will target Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, a city of 2.8 million innocent people,” adding that it is his view that Russian President Vladimir Putin has already made the decision to invade.
Russia could advance towards Kyiv via routes near Novye Yurkovichi and Troebortno, according to CSIS. There is also the possibility that Russia could use Belarus, where Russian forces have been joint exercises with their partners, as launch point for an attack on Ukraine.
The Russian military could also attack Ukraine from western Russia along a central route that would in part run through regions controlled by Russia-backed separatists the Ukrainian military has been fighting since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, pushing up to the Dnieper River, if not farther.
And Russia’s armed forces could also push deeper into Ukraine from the south, starting in Crimea, a territory that Russia annexed in 2014 following an invasion of Ukraine.