Russia is preparing to send another 1,000 mercenaries to Ukraine in the coming days and weeks, with a senior Western intelligence official warning that Moscow could “attack cities for submission”, which could lead to significant civilian casualties.
The United States has already seen “some indications” that Russian mercenaries may be involved Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine “In some places,” a senior security official said earlier this week, but it was unclear where or in what numbers.
“We saw some signs that they were being hired,” the official said.
Now, a US official tells CNN that Russia plans to send 1,000 more mercenaries in the future.
Stagnant forces: Some Russian troops have been battling mental problems and setbacks on the battlefield, including a large convoy north of Kiev that has been heavily paralyzed for the past several days.
The official said that as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its second weekend, the mercenaries will strengthen the flagging units.
The official added that mercenaries already in Ukraine had “performed worse than expected from Ukrainians” and that more than 200 mercenaries had already been killed in the war in late February.
Meanwhile, US and Western officials expect Russia to increase the speed and intensity of its strikes in key Ukrainian population centers, including the capital Kiev.
Serious attack: Russia is now “ready to subjugate cities,” a senior Western intelligence official said Friday, adding that there could be a significant increase in the number of civilian casualties.
“This is a very bitter attitude,” the official said. “Heavy weapons are not only heavier in weight, they are heavier in terms of the damage they can cause. And they are much less discriminating.”
Other officials noted that Russia’s strategy was shifting from military targets to civilians, and that the attacks were focusing on population centers.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday that “the coming days will be even worse, with more deaths, more suffering and more destruction as the Russian armed forces continue to launch heavy attacks across the country.”
To us Foreign Secretary Anthony Blingen echoed this sentiment during a press conference in Brussels on Friday.
“The Kremlin’s attacks are causing an ever-increasing number of civilians there. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have been killed and many more injured, just like the citizens of other countries. More than a million refugees have fled from Ukraine to neighboring countries. Plingon said.
“Communicator. Music aficionado. Certified bacon trailblazer. Travel advocate. Subtly charming social media fanatic.”