- The Washington Times
Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Editor’s note: Quotes originally used from the NATO Source article linked below, which erroneously attributed the words to U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, have been removed. 

Large numbers of Russian paratroopers along Ukraine’s border have been conducting military training exercises seemingly geared toward taking over airfields and airports, NATO Source reported Wednesday.

In the event of a full-fledged Russian invasion deep into Ukraine, tanks and motorized army brigades would then roll in after paratroopers secured their targets, NATO Source reported.

If Russia plans another power grab it has a “narrow window” in which to act, in part because Ukraine has an election scheduled for May 25. A failure to invade before then would give the new Ukrainian government more time to stabilize and prepare for possible military conflict.

Russian president Vladimir Putin knows that such a move would likely mean more Western sanctions, but he may see the “major geostrategic victory” of taking more of Ukraine as worth the cost, NATO Source reported.

SEE ALSO: Amid Russia’s seizure of Crimea, Obama urges NATO members to ‘chip in’

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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