The Pentagon has identified eight staging areas in Russia where large numbers of military forces appear to be preparing for incursions into Ukraine, according to U.S. defense officials. As many as 40,000 Russian troops, including tanks, armored vehicles, and air force units, are now arrayed along Ukraine’s eastern border with Russia.

Additionally, large numbers of Russian military forces will conduct exercises in the coming days that Pentagon officials say could be used as cover for an attack on Ukraine. “Russian units will likely practice reinforcing the [Crimean] peninsula through such activities as amphibious landings and air defense exercises, and this may involve the change out of equipment and long convoys of military vehicles,” one defense official said. CONTINUE