Ukraine war of February 2022.

With hindsight it seems that the Americans knew a lot about the Russian plans long before the war started. Sure, they saw them amassing the troops on the border, but it wasn't the first time it happened. Now, they almost anticipated their battle plans. Is it possible that the Russians prepared them in advance to ensure their neutrality?

  • There may be different kinds of amassing troops. Maybe the pattern of the troop concentration was different this time and more clearly indicating an attack. The US probably also has spies in Russia. I don't think though that Russia intentionally revealed their plans, they would surely rather win the war. Also, it may just be a "lucky" guess. In an alternative universe, Putin may not have given the command to start the war. Surely there were elements of uncertainty and the US warnings did account for them by using language to say that it's only their opinion. Commented Feb 28, 2022 at 9:16
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    Exactly what special knowledge did they have? The routes for Russia to invade Ukraine are fairly obvious, particularly coupled with knowledge of the locations of Russian forces which was also very obvious from satellite/airborne surveillance.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Feb 28, 2022 at 10:12

1 Answer 1


I doubt this is fully verifiable to the public, but there are many conceivable ways, some obvious (and verifiable), others speculative.

The obvious way is via satellite monitoring. Google Maps includes satellite images of the whole world, and it's obvious that the US military will have even better capabilities. They can, therefore, see the Russian military units in action. This kind of reconnaissance can be seen in some news articles, e.g. this.

The other way is espionage. You can be sure the US (and Ukraine/Russia) are constantly attempting to spy on each other. It's possible that one or several of the Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine right now are secretly US spies, and they relayed information about the upcoming attack.

Is it possible that the Russians prepared them in advance to ensure their neutrality?

Given that Russia did not inform China prior to attacking, this is extraordinarily unlikely.

  • "Given that Russia did not inform China prior ..." China has no troops deployed nearby and much less power on the international stage.
    – FluidCode
    Commented Feb 28, 2022 at 9:47
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    While I expect the US military has better capabilities, most detail imagery on Google Earth/Google Maps is from flyover cameras on planes, helicopters and drones. There is satellite imagery of course but it’s very low resolution, not enough to make out individual buildings, let alone troops and vehicles (although a very large lit up camp in an otherwise dark area would be visible even for commercial satellites).
    – Cubic
    Commented Feb 28, 2022 at 12:08
  • Not to mention that Biden, as has been asked here, made a large number of claims about what Russia was up to. Some of which were bound to happen once Putin decided to move past negotiations. Commented Mar 1, 2022 at 1:11
  • "Given that Russia did not inform China prior ..." There seem to be suggestions coming out that Putin may well have informed Xi Jinping at the beginning of the olympics.
    – user42272
    Commented Mar 1, 2022 at 23:57
  • @WolfieSmith if that were the case, China would likely have warned their citizens in Ukraine before the attack.
    – Allure
    Commented Mar 2, 2022 at 0:02

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