Breedlove Rings Alarm on Ukraine

NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove called the buildup of Russian forces along the Ukrainian border “incredibly concerning,” saying Russia has massed enough forces to successfully carry out an “incursion” into Ukraine. “This is a very large and very capable and very ready force,” Breedlove said during an interview with Reuters and the Wall Street Journal. He added, “We think it is ready to go and we think it could accomplish its objectives in between three and five days if directed to make the actions.” According to the Reuters report, Breedlove cited several possible motives for the buildup, including “an incursion into southern Ukraine to establish a land corridor to Crimea; pushing beyond Crimea to Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odessa; or even threatening to connect to Transdniestria, the mainly Russian-speaking, separatist region of Moldova that lies to the west of Ukraine.” President Barack Obama signed two bills supporting Ukraine on Thursday. HR 4152 provides “loan guarantees for Ukraine and directs the imposition of sanctions” on certain people with regards to Ukraine. S 2183 authorizes “funds to enhance US news and information programming” in areas where uncensored information is not readily available, states an April 3 White House release. (See also Dealing with Ukraine.)