The United States issued some of its clearest and most detailed warnings regarding how a Russian invasion of Ukraine could develop, and its Western allies are on high alert for any attempt by the Kremlin to create a false pretext for a new war in Europe.
US President Joe Biden expressed reassurance on Thursday as he warned that Washington saw no signs of a promised Russian withdrawal but instead seen more troops moving towards the border with Ukraine, indicating that Moscow could invade within days.
“Everything indicates that we have that they are ready to enter Ukraine, attack Ukraine,” Biden told reporters at the White House. He said the United States had “reason believe” that Russia is “engaged in a false flag operation to have an excuse to go inbut he did not provide details.
Western fears focus on about 150,000 Russian soldiers – of which about 60% of The comprehensive ground forces of Russia – are posted at the borders of Ukraine. The Kremlin insists that it has no plans invade, but he has long considered Ukraine to be part of of his sphere of NATO’s influence and expansion to the east menace existential. A key demand in this crisis is that NATO promises never to allow Ukraine to join.
Biden had planned to speak over phone friday with transatlantic leaders on russia military the strengthening and continuation of deterrence and diplomacy efforts.
american secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed some findings of US intelligence party of a strategy designed to expose and anticipate everything invasion Planning. The United States has declined reveal a lot of the evidence to support his assertions.
Blinken told United Nations Security Council diplomats that a sudden, apparently violent event staged by Russia to justify a invasion would kick off the assault. According to the Associated Press (AP), Blinken mentioned a “so-called terrorist attack” inside Russia, a staged drone strike, “a fake, even a real attack … using Chemical Weapons.”
the invasion would open with cyberattacks, as well as with missile and bomb strikes across Ukraine, he said. Blinken described the entrance of Russian troops advancing on Kyiv, a city of nearly 3 millionsand others key targets.
On Thursday evening, American and European officials were on high alert for any Russian attempt to create a pretext for invasionaccording to a western official familiar with intelligence discoveries. Ukrainian government officials shared information with allies who suggested that the Russians might try to bomb Lugansk area in the contested Donbass region on Friday morning in the frame of an effort to create a false reason take military measure, according to official who was not allowed to comment publicly.
The violence has increased in a long stalemate in this area on Thursday, fueling concerns he could provide the spark for a larger conflict. the region already was the site of fighting since 2014 that has claimed 14,000 lives.
Separatist authorities in the Luhansk region reported an increase in Ukrainian government bombarding along the outstretched line of contact. Separatist official Rodion Miroshnik said rebel forces are back fire.
Ukraine disputed that claim, saying separatists bombed its forces, but did not. fire back. Ukrainian military order said shells hit a kindergarten in Stanytsia Luhanska, injuring two teachers and cutting power for half the city.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted that the bombing of the kindergarten “by pro-Russian forces is a big provocation.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov replied with the same: “We have repeatedly warned that excessive concentration of Ukrainian Armed Forces in the immediate neighborhood of line of demarcation, coupled with possible provocations, could pose a terrible danger.”
Friday, the Ukrainian military said to have recorded 60 stopfire violations by pro-Russian separatists over the past 24 hours, with one wounded soldier. In one report, the military said separatists opened fire on more more than 10 settlements, using heavy artillery, mortars and a tank.
Western powers rushed to avoid or possibly prepare invasion.
of NATO defense ministers discussed ways to strengthen defenses in Eastern Europe, as European Union leaders coalesced over how punish Russia if it invades. Blinken and Vice President Kamala Harris are among the politicians, military and diplomatic leaders traveling to an annual security conference in Munich which will see urgent consultations on crisis. Blinker also plans meet son Russian counterpart next week.
China, a key Russian ally, accused Washington of “playing up and sensationalise the crisis and escalate tensions. Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the United States should “take seriously and respond to Russia’s legitimate and reasonable concerns on security guarantees. »
At NATO Headquarters in Brussels, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin questioned claims of Russian troop withdrawals.
“We have seen of these troops are approaching this border. We see them fly in more combat and support planes,” he said. “We see them honing their preparation in the black Sea. We even see them storing up their blood supply. You don’t do that kind of things for no reason, and you definitely don’t do them if you’re about to pack up and go home.”
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the West had seen “an increase of troops over the last 48 hours, up to 7,000.” That squared with what american administration official said a day earlier.
Russia says withdrawal, announced earlier this week, will take some time. Russia also made a new diplomatic opening on Thursday, delivering the US response to the offers of engagement in talks on limit missile deployments in Europe, restrictions on military exercises and other confidences-building measures.
The response, published by the Foreign Office, lamented the West’s refusal to respond to main Russian security requirements and reaffirmed that Moscow could take “military-technical measures” if the United States and its allies continue to silence their concerns.
At the same time, he said that Russia is ready to discuss the limits on missile deployments, restrictions on patrol flights of strategic bombers and others steps.
Munich Security Conference
Meanwhile, the German city of Munich has become the center of efforts of the Western powers to coordinate their strategy in the Ukrainian crisis on Friday, as world leaders gathered for the three-day Munich Security Conference (MSC).
Along with speeches by Harris, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and other leaders, the high-level forum will also see a number of meetings on the margin to discuss the tensions on Ukrainian borders. Harris- in a rare appearance in a large international event – East set to meet NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg on Friday, as well as interviews with Baltic leaders, Zelenskyy and Scholz during his visit.
Foreign ministers of the G-7 group of nations will meet on margins of the conference on Saturday including Blinken. Germany currently hold the chair of the group. Johnson is also set to participate on Saturday, joined by son stranger and defense ministers.
Russia does not send any official Munich rally delegates for the first time in several years, something that the president of the conference, veteran diplomat Wolfgang Ischinger, said he was deeply sorry, as reported by Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).
Even if it would have a “limited pleasure value” for a Russian representative, Ischinger told broadcaster ARD, the non-show meant that Russia would not be able to answer what would be the central question of the conference: “What does it really take for the Russian side to finally give up this scenario of menace along the Ukrainian border and return to the diplomatic negotiating table? »