The Russian military is moving troops stationed in the country of Georgia into Ukraine as reinforcements, according to a senior US defense official.
The US had seen “movement of some number of troops from Georgia,” the defense official told reporters, adding that the Pentagon could not provide a number for how many troops Moscow was moving or the timeline that they were on.
“We now have indications that they are drawing on forces from Georgia to Ukraine,” the official said, adding they were not tracking their movements from the air.
Russian troops have been stationed in Georgia after Russia invaded the country in 2008. Georgia is on Russia’s southwestern border.
The Pentagon did not know where the troops from Georgia would be going in Ukraine, the official said, while noting that the Kremlin has said it is prioritizing its activity in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the US assesses Russian forces have 22 ships in the Black Sea and while 15 of them are “surface combatants,” the official said that “most of the rest are amphibious ships."
“We’ve seen them move into the Sea of Azov to conduct an amphibious assault, to try to resupply their efforts on Mariupol, we have not seen them move on Odesa,” the official added.
The Russians could use those ships to strike Ukraine with missiles, but the US has not seen them do so yet, the official told reporters Friday.