The Russian Federation has withdrawn only a few thousand servicemen from the border with Ukraine. Empty military heavy goods vehicles and fuel trucks were mainly withdrawn, which were sent to replenish military supplies after unloading under the guise of withdrawing troops.
Senior officials of the US Department of Defense said that about 80,000 Russian servicemen remained near the border with Ukraine. This is a much larger number of troops Russia has concentrated there since the annexation of Crimea by Moscow in 2014.
Some US officials stress that the aim of the deployment of troops is to define the limits of support of the West and the United States for Ukraine. According to these officials, Russia wants to see a reaction from the West, but the reaction that will not meet the expectations of the Ukrainian government.
The Russian Federation may have already achieved this goal. The United States has said that it is ready to impose additional sanctions on Moscow and has expressed strong support for Ukraine.
However, the Biden administration has not taken any steps to move forward with NATO membership or increase military aid to Kyiv significantly. Water supply for Crimea remains a key point in this confrontation.
If Russia invades the territory controlled by Ukraine, it may weaken tight control of Ukraine over water supply of the Crimean peninsula since the 2014 annexation. Senior US officials believe that the invasion to ensure water supply remains a real threat.
However, the water problem is becoming more and more critical, and Russia has never taken such steps to seize control over the water supply. Moving from the Crimea to other parts of Ukrainian territory would provoke a strong reaction from the international community, and the authorities of the Russian Federation would have to decide whether financial and diplomatic costs related to its aggression are worth.
The Biden administration must increase military aid to Ukraine to counter Moscow effectively, but the trick is to strengthen the Ukrainian army. Then a possible invasion will be a debilitating factor for the Russian Federation, and its authorities will think thrice about whether to do so.