The crisis is racing between Ukraine, Russia and the West

Tensions are now at their highest between Ukraine, its Western partners and Russia, and the chain of events seems to have accelerated in recent hours. After the foreseeable false start of February 16, the date publicly advanced by Washington as likely for a Russian attack against Ukraine, and after the factually unsubstantiated announcement of a partial withdrawal of Russian forces deployed along the Ukrainian border , these last hours have been the scene of a series of declarations from Moscow, Washington and Europe, showing a very disastrous trajectory for Ukraine and, more generally, for peace in Europe.

1- Discreet redeployment of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border

If Moscow had announced the partial withdrawal of certain troops deployed in Crimea after the end of exercises, satellite observations but also through the many Russian spotters who publish on social networks the observed movements of Russian forces, it quickly became apparent that the few units withdrawn from Crimea had been moved close to the areas of engagement. In addition, the military reinforcement of Russian units deployed near the Ukrainian borders has, according to these observations, not been interrupted, with the announced arrival of many additional troops, including reserve forces from the National Guard. Some specialists on the subject believe that the arrival of these reserve units could make it possible to set up an occupation force after the passage of the fighting forces.

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The announced withdrawal of part of the Russian forces near the Ukrainian border has not been corroborated by Western and Ukrainian observations

But the most critical point in recent hours is not in the identification of new units arriving near the theater of operations, but in the "disappearance" of many units, redeployed for a few hours to sites difficult to locate, close to the Ukrainian border. Indeed, if it would have been impossible and vain to try to hide the deployment of more than 70% of the Russian armed forces around Ukraine, their tactical and discreet deployment to other sites in the direct vicinity of the border suggests an active preparation for a short-term operation, so as to take advantage of some form of surprise, if not strategically, at least on the tactical level.

2- Moscow's written response to the American proposals

After having openly regretted the absence of a written American response to the Russian demands a few weeks ago, the Russian authorities had, however, not reacted officially to the American response sent on January 26. This has now been done, since the Kremlin has published an extremely firm response to the American proposals on its website, roundly brushing aside the latter to reiterate Russian demands, such as stopping NATO expansion, withdrawing NATO ground forces of all countries that joined the alliance after 1997, the dismantling of potentially nuclear infrastructures in all European countries that do not have their own military capabilities (this potentially marking the end of shared deterrence of NATO), and the cessation of the supply of arms to Ukraine.

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