Putin's Troops Amass 500K on Frontline; Ukraine Warns of Depleted Reserves

Ongoing Conflict Intensifies Amid Growing Military Imbalances

by Zain ul Abedin
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Putin's Troops Amass 500K on Frontline; Ukraine Warns of Depleted Reserves
© Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Russia has amassed over half a million troops along the Ukrainian border, analysts have reported, mere days after Russian forces breached the northeastern front lines. This significant build-up starkly contrasts with Ukraine's active ground forces, which total approximately 250,000 personnel.

This disparity in troop numbers has raised alarm among experts. Ukraine's Western allies are anxiously awaiting the arrival of a much-delayed U.S. military aid package valued at tens of billions of dollars. Dr. Jack Watling, a researcher at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), highlighted the growing imbalance.

"Russian forces have now expanded to 510,000 troops," Watling stated. "The outlook for Ukraine is bleak. Its allies must replenish stockpiles." Watling’s urgent call for increased support echoes sentiments from senior Western defense officials who have continuously pledged support for Ukraine.

In the UK, government ministers have emphasized several defense spending initiatives, including a multi-billion-pound boost announced by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak earlier this year.

Western Allies' Assurances

The European Union, which has provided Ukraine with €32 billion (£27 billion) since Russia's invasion in February 2022, is working on a new security agreement to support Ukraine against future threats.

EU foreign affairs spokesperson Peter Stano stated that these commitments aim to "help Ukraine defend itself in the long term, deter acts of aggression, and resist destabilization efforts." Meanwhile, in the U.S., high-ranking officials from the Biden administration recently visited Kyiv to assure President Volodymyr Zelensky of continued American support.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was part of the delegation, expressed confidence in the impact of U.S. aid. "We know this is a challenging time. But U.S. aid is going to make a real difference against the ongoing Russian aggression on the battlefield," Blinken said.

The U.S. Congress recently approved a $61 billion military assistance package for Ukraine, which could be pivotal in the ongoing conflict. Additionally, the U.S. is preparing a $400 million military aid package as part of its regular supply of weapons to Kyiv.

While this aid offers hope for Ukraine, the situation remains dire as Russian forces advance towards Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city. Ukrainian military intelligence chief General Kyrylo Budanov expressed concerns about depleted reserves. "I've used everything we have... Unfortunately, we don’t have anyone else in the reserves," Budanov revealed.

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