Ukraine: Russia's Red Line
18 February 2022
A Research Briefing by UK's House of Commons Library. In early November 2021 Russia began building up its military forces along the borders of Ukraine, for the second time in a year. Over 100,000 Russian military personnel and assets have been deployed in Crimea and in the Voronezh, Kursk and Bryansk regions of Western Russia. Russian naval assets from the Baltic and Northern fleets have deployed to the Black Sea and 30,000 Russian troops are currently on exercise in Belarus, close to the Ukrainian border. Tensions have escalated following a US intelligence assessment in December 2021, which suggested that Russia could be planning an invasion of Ukraine in early 2022. Russia has denied suggestions that it is planning to invade and has linked its actions to what it regards as provocative actions by NATO. Russia is seeking longer term security guarantees from the Alliance that Ukraine will not be admitted as a Member State and that NATO military infrastructure will not be deployed in the country. The Kremlin has said these are “red lines” for Russia’s national security.