U.S. general says low to medium risk of Russian invasion of Ukraine
There is a "low to medium" risk that Russia will invade Ukraine over the next few weeks, the top U.S. general in Europe said on Thursday, in the first such military assessment amid mounting concern about Russian troop movements toward Ukraine's borders.
Air Force General Tod Wolters declined to explain the intelligence driving his assessment, which does not suggest that the U.S. military expects a Russian invasion at this point, but he is not ruling one out or playing down the risk.
But, in testimony before a House of Representatives committee he later suggested his view about the risks in the coming weeks and months was at least partly based on the disposition of Russian forces.
Asked by a lawmaker on the Armed Services Committee to estimate the chances of an invasion in the next few weeks, Wolters said: "Low to medium."
Pressed by another lawmaker to explain whether that risk would change after that period, Wolters kept his cards close, saying: "The answer is, it depends."
If the current trajectory stayed the same, however, Wolters estimated the risk of an invasion could decrease. "My sense is, with the trend that I see right now, that the likelihood of an occurrence will start to wane," he told Congress members.