tengoku
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


NATO deploys response units to bolster defenses

NATO deploys response units to bolster defenses

BRUSSELS: NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Friday (Feb 25) the alliance was deploying its rapid response forces to bolster defences on its eastern flank in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine
By AFP

Saturday 26 February 2022, 08:45AM


A Ukrainian military medic approaches the bodies of Russian servicemen wearing Ukrainian service uniforms and lying beside and inside a vehicle after being shot during a skirmish in Kyiv. Photo: AFP

A Ukrainian military medic approaches the bodies of Russian servicemen wearing Ukrainian service uniforms and lying beside and inside a vehicle after being shot during a skirmish in Kyiv. Photo: AFP

“It is still a fluid situation. What we have seen is that the Ukrainian forces are fighting bravely and are actually able to inflict damage on the invading Russian forces,” Stoltenberg said after a video summit of NATO leaders.

“It is a full invasion of Ukraine. They are moving towards Kyiv and the stated goal is to change the government of Ukraine.”

Stoltenberg warned that the Kremlin’s aggression had created a “new normal”, threatening Europe’s broader security beyond non-NATO member Ukraine. 

“We have already strengthened our deterrence and defence,” Stoltenberg said. 

“Yesterday, allies activated our defence plans and, as a result, we are deploying elements of the NATO Response Force on land, at sea, and in the air to further strengthen our posture and to respond quickly to any contingency.”

The step is the latest by NATO aimed at beefing up its defences after allies spearheaded by the United States rushed thousands of troops to eastern members as the Kremlin moved on Ukraine. 

“We have over 100 jets at high alert, operating in over 30 different locations and over 120 ships from the high north to the Mediterranean,” Stoltenberg said.  

“This is to preserve peace to prevent an attack and to prevent that the war which is going on in Ukraine spills over to any NATO allied country.”

He did not give any details on where the response forces were being sent, saying it was up to NATO’s top military commander.

NATO’s response force is made up of 40,000 personnel and includes an 8,000-strong high-readiness contingent with air, sea and special operations soldiers that can be deployed within days.

RESISTANCE

Russia’s drive to seize control of Ukraine had quickly lost momentum amid resistance from Ukrainian fighters on the ground and in the air, a senior US defense official said Friday.

“Their momentum, particularly as it comes to Kyiv, has slowed over the last 24 hours,” the official said. 

Russian forces, which entered Ukraine early Thursday, have yet to seize any major cities, or gain control of airspace, the official said.

“They have not achieved the progress that we believe they anticipated they would,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“A good indicator of that is no population centers have been taken. None,” the official said.

The Pentagon believes that Moscow wants to seize control of Kyiv and replace the Western-leaning government with allies of the Kremlin.

And many worry that the powerful Russian force, with massive backup still awaiting on Ukraine’s border, could conquer Kyiv within days.

But so far, while Russian forces have focused on military targets, they have not been able to disrupt the Ukrainian military structure.

"As we see it right now that Ukrainian command and control is intact," the official said.

Nor have they been able to command air space. The Pentagon says that Ukrainian air defense systems are still working and the country’s air force is still able to fly and threaten Russian aircraft.

“They’re meeting more resistance than they expected,” the official said.

“We continue to have indications that it’s not going quite the way that they had anticipated.”

Starting with a massive missile barrage, Russia launched its invasion along three axes: the first a push from Belarus directly north toward Kyiv; the second from Russia’s Belgorod region toward the major city of Kharkiv in northeast Ukraine; and the third, from Crimea in the south towards Kherson.

While Russian forces have reached the outskirts of Kyiv, they have not been able to enter, and fighting remains heavy around Kharkiv, which also has not fallen.

In the south, Russians continue to push to Kherson but are also widening the front, landing amphibious forces to Crimea’s east to threaten Mariupol.

Russians have also sought to take control of the Kakhovka hydroelectric plant on the Dnieper river north of Crimea, launching cyberattacks on the plant, the official said.

The Pentagon would not estimate how many Russian forces had entered Ukraine, after having amassed more than 150,000 along the country’s borders before attacking.

The official said that they had moved "about a third of their combat power" into Ukraine, and the rest remain in place just outside.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

 

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Helicopter to join search for German tourist

JohnC@ very insensitive comment especially as she has now been safe Thai’s are very caring towards...(Read More)


Missing German tourist found safe

Fantastic news pleased for the family, if she is an Alzheimer’s sufferer as has been reported they...(Read More)


Ukrainians arrested in Phuket, face extradition for offences in US

This cannot be real. Western MSM is saying all Ukrainians are angels. There must be some mistake...(Read More)


Missing German tourist found safe

What did she eat and drink for a week?...(Read More)


Phuket Immigration seeks expat volunteers

@DeKaaskopp. What you said is the same as what was said about slaves....(Read More)


Helicopter to join search for German tourist

@JohnC No need to doubt anymore. Hope you can sleep better now....(Read More)


Violence clouds Jerusalem funeral of Al Jazeera journalist

Somehow Israel must have a "carte blanche" to do whatever they want. Annexation of land an...(Read More)


Pandemic, or Endemic Epidemic? It’s all Academic!

Great article! Really a to the point comment. A fine enlighting how Thai softening their wrong doing...(Read More)


Female students face police over vicious attack on 11-year-old

Too many feral children here without parental control. Be it fights, riding crazy on motorbikes or j...(Read More)