Russia not done yet! Ukraine invasion could only be the START - 'NATO countries next!' Tele Haiti

Russia — In the early years of Vladimir Putin’s tenure as Russia’s leader, the country’s military was a hollowed-out but nuclear-armed shell.

It struggled to keep submarines afloat in the Arctic and an outgunned insurgency at bay in Chechnya. Senior officers sometimes lived in moldy, rat-infested tenements. And instead of socks, poorly trained soldiers often wrapped their feet in swaths of cloth, the way their Soviet and Tsarist predecessors had.

Two decades later, it is a far different fighting force that has massed near the border with Ukraine. Under Putin’s leadership, it has been overhauled into a modern sophisticated army, able to deploy quickly and with lethal effect in conventional conflicts, military analysts said. It features precision-guided weaponry, a newly streamlined command structure and well-fed and professional soldiers. And they still have the nuclear weapons.

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The modernized military has emerged as a key tool of Putin’s foreign policy: capturing Crimea, intervening in Syria, keeping the peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan and, just this month, propping up a Russia-friendly leader in Kazakhstan. Now it is in the middle of its most ambitious — and most ominous — operation yet: using threats and potentially, many fear, force, to bring Ukraine back into Moscow’s sphere of influence.

“The mobility of the military, its preparedness and its equipment are what allow Russia to pressure Ukraine and to pressure the West,” said Pavel Luzin, a Russian security analyst. “Nuclear weapons are not enough.”

Without firing a shot, Putin has forced the Biden administration to shelve other foreign policy priorities and contend with Kremlin grievances the White House has long dismissed — in particular reversing Ukraine’s Westward lean in the post-Soviet period.

GORKY, January 27. /TASS/. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) failed to keep its previously voiced promises regarding its non-expansion to the east and moved to the Russian state borders, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said.

"They promised not to expand NATO, but didn’t keep the promise," Medvedev said speaking with Russian media outlets, including TASS news agency. "They say that ‘we did not sign anything.’ But we all know well who and when granted to whom such promises, such assurances."

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