Russian threat to invade Ukraine still `very high`, says Biden

Russian threat to invade Ukraine still `very high`, says Biden

Fears of a new war in Europe resurfaced on Thursday as US President Joe Biden warned that Russia could invade Ukraine within days, and violence escalated in a long-running standoff in eastern Ukraine. Some worried may provide the spark for wider conflict. World dignitaries rushed for a solution, but suspicion grew between East and West, as NATO allies rejected Russian claims that it was pulling troops back from the exercise, raising fears of an attack Was. Russia is believed to have built around 150,000 military forces around Ukraine’s borders.

Concern grew in the West over what Russia was actually doing with those troops, which comprised 37 of an estimated 60 of Russia’s total ground forces. The Kremlin insists it has no plans to invade, but has long considered Ukraine to be part of its sphere of influence and NATO’s eastward expansion is an existential threat. The US government issued some of its strictest, most detailed warnings about what could happen next. Speaking at the United Nations Security Council, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken disclosed some of the findings of US intelligence in a strategy that the US and Britain hoped would uncover and pre-empt any invasion plans. The US has refused to disclose much of the evidence contained in its claims.

He told diplomats that a sudden, seemingly violent event would be staged by Russia to justify the invasion. Blinken referred to a “so-called terrorist bombing” inside Russia, a staged drone attack, “a fake, even a real attack” that was using chemical weapons. The attack would begin with a cyberattack, along with missiles and bombs across Ukraine, he said. Taking the American picture further, Blinken described the entry of Russian troops, the city of about 3 million, advancing on Kiev, and other major targets.

US intelligence indicated that Russia would also target “specific groups” of Ukrainians, Blinken said. In an implied nod to Secretary of State Colin Powell’s appearance before the Security Council in 2003, when he cited baseless and false US intelligence to justify the US invasion of Iraq, Blinken said: ‘Let me be clear. I am here today not to start a war, but to stop one.’ Biden’s own remarks on the Russian threat were unusually terrifying. Speaking at the White House, he said Washington saw no signs of a promised Russian withdrawal, and said the threat of invasion remained “very high” as Russia sought to pull back more troops toward the border with Ukraine. moved instead.

“We have every indication that they are ready to go to Ukraine, attack Ukraine,” Biden told reporters. He said the US has “reason to believe” that Russia is involved in a “false flag campaign” to make an excuse to go inside. ”, but did not give details. The White House said Biden plans to speak by phone with trans-Atlantic leaders on Friday about Russia’s military build-up and continued efforts at deterrence and diplomacy.

According to a Western official familiar with the intelligence findings, US and European officials were on high alert for any Russian attempt to excuse the invasion. Ukrainian government officials shared intelligence with allies that suggested Russian military might try to open up the Luhansk region in the disputed Donbass region on Friday morning as part of an attempt to create a false reason for taking action. , according to the officer who was not authorized. Comment publicly.

New fears of invasion shore up global financial markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 600 points, or 1.7%. Over 85 stocks were in the red in the benchmark S&P 500. Even without an attack, continued Russian pressure on Ukraine has further exacerbated its shaky economy and left the entire country in constant tension. Eastern Ukraine has already been the site of fighting since 2014 that has killed 14,000 people, and tensions escalated again on Thursday.

Separatist officials in the Luhansk region reported increased Ukrainian government shelling along a tense line of contact. Separatist official Rodion Miroshnik said rebel forces retaliated. Ukraine denied the claim, saying its forces were shelled by separatists but they did not retaliate. Ukrainian military command said shells were fired at a kindergarten in Stanisia Luhanska, wounding two teachers and cutting off electricity to half the city.

Yasser Halit Sevic, the head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation’s surveillance mission in Europe, said there were 500 explosions on the contact line from Wednesday evening to Thursday. Sevic told the Security Council that then tensions seemed to be easing and that about 30 explosions had been reported.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted that “kindergarten shelling by pro-Russian forces is a great provocation”. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded with the same: ‘We have repeatedly warned that the excessive concentration of Ukrainian armed forces in the immediate vicinity of the line demarcation, coupled with potential provocations, could pose a formidable threat. A 2015 deal brokered by France and Germany helped end the worst of the fighting, but regular skirmishes continued and a political settlement stalled.

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