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STUTTGART, Germany — The U.S. military’s stepped-up activities around Ukraine have turned into a new “red line” for Moscow that could increase the risk of a large-scale Russian invasion of the country, some military analysts are cautioning as Russian troops mass on Ukraine’s border.

But Pentagon brass could be missing the signal Moscow is sending on what it’s willing to fight over, as the movement of Russian forces sparks concerns in Washington and European capitals of a possible military offensive in the months ahead.

“There are very, very dark clouds on the horizon,” said Michael Kofman, director of Russia studies at the Center for Naval Analyses.

The problem the U.S. military needs to solve is how to demonstrate solidarity with Ukraine and show a willingness to stand up to possible Russian aggression without provoking the escalation it seeks to avoid in the first place, Kofman said.

“We may be pushing too far, too …

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