Numerous news items have claimed or implied a buildup of 100,000 Russian troops and hundreds of tanks and armoured personnel carriers along its borders. Most are vague about the exact location. The Telegraph provides a map of "Russian military build-up around Ukraine" which shows troops up to 300km from Ukraine but it says in the article "The overall number of Russian troops near Ukraine is now estimated at over 100,000". "on December 3, 2021 the Washington Post reported U.S. intelligence concluded Russia was massing up to 175,000 troops around Ukraine".

I would expect a large fraction of Russia's 1,000,000 troops to be based near the western border where Russia has historically been invaded. I have seen the Americans' images of dozens of trucks in parking lots.

Has there been an increase of Russian troops in this region? Are the troops normally based there?

Interview - January 24, 2022 (Google translate from Ukrainian.): Second last question:

BBC : What is happening near the Ukrainian borders? The number of troops is increasing, are they maneuvering?

Alexei Danilov [Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, Ukraine] : The number of Russian troops is not increasing in the form in which many people paint today. Do they have maneuvers there - yes, but they were in them all the time. This is their territory, they have the right to move left and right there. Is it unpleasant for us? Yes, it's unpleasant, but it's not news to us. If this is news to someone in the West, I apologize.

Second question:

BBC : Why did they change their attitude to this situation? Why did these loud statements start right now?

Alexei Danilov: It is difficult for us to say. Each country lives in its own political environment. Each country has its own processes, including political ones. Today there is a situation of post-war policy, a situation related to China, Taiwan, a lot is happening in the world. There were changes in Germany, elections in France. That is, domestic political events that take place in many countries around the world, they are in some cases the dominant of certain processes.

There is no overconcentration of Russian forces near Ukraine’s border, says Volodymyr Zelensky

  • Is the question questioning the estimate of 100,000 troops? (E.g., maybe Ukraine officials are exaggerating the number.) Jan 23, 2022 at 8:01
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    Given that you seem to have rejected DJClayworth's answer, I have to ask: what's the standard of proof here? What evidence would be sufficient, in your eyes, to prove that this troop build-up exists? Conversely, what evidence would be sufficient to prove that it doesn't?
    – F1Krazy
    Jan 24, 2022 at 11:30
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    I don't think "unresolved current events" is a good reason to close. Whatever may happen in the future, the question is about events that have already happened. Even if Russia sends all the troops back home the buildup will still have happened. Jan 24, 2022 at 17:10
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    I’m voting to close this question because OP's edits are making it increasingly obvious that they're asking this question in order to push a specific angle on the subject, and are not asking in good faith.
    – F1Krazy
    Jan 26, 2022 at 19:45
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    @KeithMcClary Still disputing the troop buildup? Feb 24, 2022 at 15:15

1 Answer 1


The existence of the troop buildup is undisputed by everyone involved. All the major western powers agree, pretty much all news organizations agree. The Russians themselves do not deny it, even in the links provided in the question - they just claim that the increase is part of normal operations and not for the purpose of invading Ukraine. Many of the troops currently bordering Ukraine travelled there from the Far East in 2021.

There are photos of troops and equipment a few kilometres from the Ukraine border.

Contrary to your question, countries do not in fact usually station troops on a border, except during time of imminent war. In fact, for defense, most troops are not usually stationed near the border at all. Troops right on a border can be easily surrounded in case of an attack. During the Cold War, for example, troops in Western Europe were stationed hundreds of kilometres from the border. Troops are, however, concentrated on a border by a country that wishes to attack that border.

  • Russia knows that troops near a border caa be surrounded. They provide the best example when the Germans did that to them at the beginning of Operation Barbarossa in World War II
    – mmmmmm
    Jan 23, 2022 at 12:15
  • Your first reference to the Washington Post refers to a 1945.com article which says "on December 3, 2021 the Washington Post reported U.S. intelligence concluded Russia was massing up to 175,000 troops around Ukraine". I see there are lots of Western media echoing that number. Jan 23, 2022 at 15:29
  • Is it too late to change my question to "175,000"? Your answer would be equally valid. Jan 23, 2022 at 15:36
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    I don't think you are reading the same answer I wrote. Jan 23, 2022 at 22:45
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    @KeithMcClary Want to delete any of your comments about how this invasion scare is made up now? Feb 24, 2022 at 15:15

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