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'Decapitate the existing government:' Targeted air strikes on Ukrainian military part of Russia's strategy, expert says

Retired Vice Admiral Rick Snyder looks at the possibility of troop movement in Ukraine.

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — A major reason why some United States military forces are at the border of Ukraine is to protect our NATO allies.  

Reports indicate that roughly 5,500 US soldiers are currently in Poland, just a few miles from that country's border with Ukraine.

Prior to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the initial goal of the United States was to use diplomacy to prevent military action.  Now that war has started, First Coast News reached out to retired Vice Admiral Rick Snyder to see what might be next for American service members.

While bombs dropped on Ukraine on Thursday, more than 5,000 American troops were in neighboring Poland to protect a NATO ally. 

"Putin has taken a step here that has limited options from here on out," says retired Vice Admiral Rick Snyder.

Initially, diplomacy was the mode to deter Russia from using military force.

"The goal to deterrence now is to get President Putin to stop what he's doing now and to deter further actions on neighboring countries," says Snyder.

The New York Times printed a map of the initial Russian attacks.  First Coast News had Snyder review the map of the attacks to describe what he believes to be the Russian military strategy.

"It makes good sense because there are many Russian nationals on the eastern part of Ukraine, so there are going to be sympathizers as they come in," says Snyder.  "If you want to invade another country and impose your will, you have to decapitate the existing government."

That appears to be exactly what Russia is attempting with targeted air strikes on Ukrainian military locations.

Vice Admiral Snyder believes this is likely the beginning of Russia's military activity in Ukraine rather than an isolated incident. 

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