Russia is massing at least 200,000 soldiers for a massive new assault on Ukraine, NATO’s top official has warned, the US Sun has reported.
NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said there is “no sign” that Vladimir Putin is “preparing for peace”.
He warned that Russia is preparing for “more war” ahead of the conflict’s first anniversary at the end of the February.
It comes amid intelligence reports that President Vladimir Putin may be readying for a massive new offensive.
And it has been reported Vlad could launch a new blitzkrieg-style onslaught in attempt to win the war by taking Kyiv.
Ukraine fears the assault could coincide with February 24 – the first anniversary of the Vlad’s invasion.
Stoltenberg did not give any details – but reiterated the need for the West to continue arming Ukraine.
He warned the world to “prepare for the long haul” and said it is “extremely important that Putin doesn’t win”.
Russia winning in Ukraine would empower dictators and make the world “more dangerous”.
He warned Putin will not sit down at the table while he still “believes he can win on the battlefield”.
Speaking in South Korea, Stoltenberg said: “We don’t see any signs that President Putin and rules in Moscow are preparing for peace.”
“We see the opposite. We see that they are preparing for more war, that they are mobilizing more soldiers, more than 200,000, and potentially even more than that.
“That they are actively acquiring new weapons, more ammunition, ramping up their own production, but also acquiring more weapons from other authoritarian states like Iran and North Korea.
“And most of all, we have seen no sign that President Putin has changed his overall goal of this invasion that is to control a neighbour, to control Ukraine.
“So as long as this is the case, we need to be prepared for long haul.”
Stoltenberg explained that the only way to force Putin to the table was to keep arming Ukraine.
“What we do know it that what happens around that table is inextricably linked to and totally dependent on the situation on the battlefield,” he said.
“So if we really want Ukraine to prevail as a sovereign, independent nation in Europe, then we need to support them now.
“Military support today makes it possible to reach a peace agreement tomorrow.”
Ukraine has been warning over the winter that Putin’s forces will be gearing up for renewed attack in 2023.
And they are continuing to call for arms – with their forces now due to receive Challenger, 2 Leopard 2, and M1 Abrams tanks from the UK, Germany and the US.
Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s national security and defence council, said: “Now they are preparing for maximum activation, and they believe that by the anniversary they should have some achievements.
“There is no secret that they are preparing for a new wave by February 24, as they themselves say.”