It appears that Russia is on the verge of invading Ukraine after amassing some 90,000 troops on its border with the former Soviet Republic. Ukraine, in fear of this, has reportedly sent over 100k troops to the same border to defend itself.
Russia is saying this morning that the likelihood of ‘hostilities’ with Ukraine is high:
RT – The risk of an all-out armed conflict in south-eastern Ukraine is extremely high and is becoming a matter of grave concern for Russia, Moscow has cautioned, as international tensions heighten over the war-torn Donbass region.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that “the probability of hostilities in Ukraine is still high” when asked about the likelihood of a war in the country’s east.
“This is a matter of particular concern and worry for us,” he added.
Peskov’s remarks come a day after Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman alleged that Kiev was significantly beefing up its military force in the region by “pulling heavy equipment and personnel” into the area.
“According to some reports, the number of troops… in the conflict zone already reaches 125,000 people,” Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.
“This, if anyone does not know, is half of the entire composition of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” she added.
The US is telling Russia not to invade, sending Tony Blinken to warn Sergei Lavrov of ‘serious consequences’:
NEWSMAX – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met his Russian opposite number on Thursday to warn him face-to-face of the “serious consequences” Russia would suffer if it invaded Ukraine and to urge him to seek a diplomatic exit from the crisis.
Blinken delivered the warning to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a meeting in Stockholm, a day after declaring that Washington was ready to respond resolutely, including with hard-hitting sanctions, in the event of a Russian attack.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is weighing in on this saying that the US won’t act unilaterally against Russia, but only in cooperation with the ‘international community’ if Russia invades Ukraine:
REUTERS – U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Thursday suggested any U.S. response to Russia’s actions towards Ukraine would be carried out in conjunction with the international community, as he called on Moscow to be transparent about its military buildup.
Austin, during a visit to South Korea, also voiced hope that the United States and Russia could work to “resolve issues and concerns and lower the temperature in the region.”
“Whatever we do will be done as a part of an international community. The best case though is that we won’t see an incursion by the Soviet Union into the Ukraine,” Austin said, accidentally calling Russia the former Soviet Union.
Ukraine, a former Soviet republic that aspires to join the European Union and NATO, has become the main flashpoint between Russia and the West as relations have soured to their worst level in the three decades since the Cold War ended.
NBC News is reporting that this military buildup by Russia isn’t like the ones in the past, that this really does look like the beginning of an invasion:
Officials and experts say that this time is different — and there are several clues giving them genuine concern that the current gambit by Russian President Vladimir Putin might be for real, and the start of a conflict that could drag in Europe and even the U.S. itself.
Putin has deployed more than 90,000 troops along Russia’s border with Ukraine, matching the force that he sent and withdrew in the spring. But whereas those troops maneuvered in open daylight, now they have mostly been far less showy, moving under the cover of darkness.
And Moscow’s rhetoric has noticeably hardened in recent months, saying it will not accept what it sees as a deepening of ties between Ukraine and the West.
“Moscow is so positioned that they can move with very little warning,” said John Herbst, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who is now a senior director at the Atlantic Council, which describes itself as a nonpartisan think tank. “They’re certainly threatening. And they’re in a position that if they want to, they can do it.”
Few people, if anyone, outside Putin’s inner circle know what he’s planning. Analysts say this could be another attempt to gain leverage over Ukraine, and a warning to the West not to meddle in the Kremlin’s strategic and spiritual backyard. But some reckon war is far from impossible.
“We’re deeply concerned by evidence that Russia has made plans for significant aggressive moves against Ukraine,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday in Sweden ahead of a meeting of the the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, an international security organization.
“We don’t know whether President Putin has made the decision to invade,” he added. “We do know that he’s putting in place the capacity to do so in short order should he so decide.”
A day earlier, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned Russia would pay a “high price” if it invaded.
It’s clear to me that if Putin really wants to invade Ukraine, now is the time. He knows that Biden is extremely weak and will let him invade, just like Obama did with Crimea. After watching how Biden cowered to the Taliban and literally left Americans behind in Afghanistan, what does Putin have to fear from him? Not a damn thing.