Despite Russia’s claims of a partial troop withdrawal from the Ukrainian border, the US has already called these assertions fake. Based on investigation data and expert opinions, Russian troops remain in dangerous proximity to Ukraine’s border and at a similar, if not higher, level of readiness for potential invasion.

We decided to collect the most current data in one place and explain where it comes from.

Earlier we claimed the number of Russian troops on the border to be 130 000 – this was quoted by both the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence and Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson. On the 16th February, Valery Zaluzhniy, Commander in Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, reported that Russia’s armed forces are composed of 85-87 Battalion Tactical Groups (one group includes 1000 soldiers); another 20 BTG’s are in constant relocation. According to him, these groups are transferring from the occupied territory in Crimea to Belarussia.

On the 16th February the President of the United States announced that the number of troops is even higher, estimated at 150 000. Shortly after, the BBC revealed from a source at the White House that another 7000 troops had been mobilised to the Ukrainian border, severely undemining Russia’s claims of a troop withdrawal.

A relatively close estimate to this was cited by the Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform: 140 000 Russian troops on the Ukrainian border (including air and naval forces), 119 000 of which are ground troops, as had been previously announced by Ukraine’s Defence Minister Alexei Reznikov.

At this point it is important to underline that, given the situation, it is relatively difficult to precisely determine the number of troops, so all of these figures are somewhat estimates. Nevertheless, all analysts agree that the troop numbers are unprecedented: regardless of what report you read, the minimum troops’ threshold doesn’t fall below 100 000, and even this figure has been called ‘redundant’ by the recently oft-cited consulting firm Rochan Consulting.

Are there reasons to be worried? Undoubtedly. Does this mean a definite Russian invasion is imminent? Neither we not any other source can given you a guranteed answer, and those who claim to have one are lying. But this ambiguity is also what’s maintaining a state of tension and uncertainty, and this might be the very thing that the Kremlin wants.

We continue to monitor Russian troops’ movement on Ukraine’s border. Should you have any information or evidence of Russian troops or equipment movement, or any other information you want to share with us, please send it to us via email [email protected] or text us on social media.

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