"If Russia decides to go ahead with a new military operation, this may occur between December 2021 and February 2022. The Russian Federation continues to maintain a reinforced group of troops along the border with Ukraine. 40 battalion tactical groups stand ready to be deployed as part of the potential offensive operation. The total number of forces along the border, in the occupied Donbas and Crimea, comprises 115,000 troops, which includes 93,000 troops being present on the ground and 22,000 as naval and air components. Russia is also increasing reconnaissance activities in the Black Sea region," Foreign Minister of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba said, APA reports.
The Minister said that from 1 January to 2 December 2021, Russian forces launched 2346 attacks against Ukrainian positions, leaving 65 Ukrainian soldiers dead and 261 wounded. 29 servicemen of the Ukrainian Armed Forces were killed by snipers. "Russia has also deployed 30 landing ships and boats as part of its Black Sea Fleet, increasing the strike capability five times, and the landing capabilities two times. Ukraine is consolidating international response to Russian destabilizing activities. Russia will face severe consequences if it resorts to the worst case scenario. All our efforts are centered now around setting up and implementing a comprehensive package of measures to deter Russia and reinforce Ukraine’s capabilities to defend itself. The actual work on such measures in various capitals has begun."
Mr. Kuleba emphasized that the Normandy format remains the main platform on which a diplomatic settlement can be negotiated: "Ukraine, Germany and France will continue to call on Russia to de-escalate, rejoin the negotiations, and implement in full its commitments under the Minsk Agreements."