Washington: Russia Could Attack Ukraine At Any Time
WASHINGTON - The White House has put out a statement saying that Russia could launch an attack on Ukraine at any time and that it would support an anti-Russian insurgency if Russia decides to further invade Ukraine.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has stated "Let's be clear. Our view is this is an extremely dangerous situation. We're now at a stage where Russia could at any point launch an attack in Ukraine".
Psaki continued, "And what Secretary Blinken is going to go do is highlight very clearly there's a diplomatic path forward. It is the choice of President Putin and the Russians to make whether they're going to suffer severe economic consequences or not".
The White House Press Secretary also stated that 'No option is off the table" if Russia "further invades Ukraine".
Regarding the military buildup near the Ukrainian borders a Ukrainian official official stated "We see that it's not de-escalating, it's ongoing. Still not enough to do a full-scale invasion and sustain it but it's still a lot".
The New York Times reported that the United States has indicated that it would strongly support an anti-Russian insurgency if Russia invades Ukraine.
The article stated that U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and General Mark A. Milley the chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff both have warned Russia in telephone calls that if Russia invades Ukraine it would likely be followed by a bloody insurgency that would be supported by the United States.
It also says that the Biden administration has stated that a Ukrainian insurgency would involve the CIA as well as the Pentagon.
James Stavridis, a retired four-star Navy admiral who was the supreme allied commander at NATO stated "If Putin invades Ukraine with a major military force, U.S. and NATO military assistance — intelligence, cyber, anti-armor and anti-air weapons, offensive naval missiles — would ratchet up significantly"
"And if it turned into a Ukrainian insurgency, Putin should realize that after fighting insurgencies ourselves for two decades, we know how to arm, train and energize them" the Admiral stated.
Spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, Dimitry Peskov says that the reason Russia began building up troops near the Ukrainian border is because it could no longer 'tolerate' NATO's eastward expansion and 'gradual invasion' of Ukraine
Russia has also begun evacuating its diplomats from Ukraine and Russian consulates have been told to prepare to leave Ukraine, a move which indicates that Russia may indeed be preparing for an invasion.
Russian Iskander-M ballistic missile launchers have been spotted by Moscow-based Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) and captured on video being transported through Russia on trains toward Ukraine, but Russia has denied that it plans to invade Ukraine.
CIT stated that some of the Iskander-M launchers were seen as far west as the Ural mountains which divides Europe and Asia. Rail car tracking shows the launchers began being transported from Ulan-Ude and Birobidzhan which is close to military bases.
Another alarming development are the arrival of Russian troops in Belarus which may also indicate an intention to invade Ukraine. According to the Belarus Secretary of Security Council Russian troops and military vehicles have begun arriving in Belarus and have been spotted all over the country ahead of what they claim are military drills next month.
A Senior State Department official has said that Belarus could play a part in a Russian invasion on Ukraine and Washington is worried about the potential that Russia could deploy conventional weapons, or even nuclear warheads in Belarus.
"These movements are supposedly under the auspices of regularly scheduled joint military exercises" the official said. "The timing is notable and, of course, raises concerns that Russia could intend to station troops… in order potentially to attack Ukraine".
U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor has stated that he believes there is a "50 percent" chance that a 'major war' will break out in Europe amid fears that Russia will invade Ukraine.
Taylor told CNN on Sunday "There's a 50 percent chance that there will be a major war in Europe today, with tens of thousands of soldiers on both sides, both sides, dying". "A nearly 50 percent chance of that kind of outcome is troubling, is very troubling" he said.
"The reason, if there is reason, if Mr. Putin is thinking about the cost and benefits, he won't do it. Because the costs are are very, very high. The cost in soldier's lives, the cost in civilian lives. The cost in sanctions that he knows are coming".
Taylor said that he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin has an 'obsession' with Ukraine and "wants to be sure Ukraine doesn't join NATO. Mr. Putin thinks that Ukraine is not a sovereign country...he thinks Ukraine and is really just part of Russia".
In another development, Canada and Britain have sent forces to Ukraine amid fears of a Russian invasion.
Canada's globalnews.ca reported that sources told them that "the Canadian special operations presence is part of an attempt by NATO allies to deter Russian aggression in Ukraine, and to identify ways to assist the Ukrainian government".
Global News stated that the special forces unit is tasked with developing evacuation plans for Canadian diplomatic personnel in the event of a 'full scale invasion' on Ukraine.
The British believe that a Russian invasion could be only days away and the UK Defense Secretary is warning of a 'very, very bloody war'.
U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has stated that Washington is ready whether Russia decides to take the path of diplomacy, or to invade Ukraine.
During an interview with CBS, Sullivan said "ready either way. We’re in close touch with our allies and partners, including the Ukrainians".
"We’re coordinating closely on next steps. And we’ll have more to share in terms of the next steps into the diplomacy early next week" he stated.
"But the key point here is that we’re ready either way. If Russia wants to move forward with diplomacy, we are absolutely ready to do that in lockstep with our allies and partners".
"If Russia wants to go down the path of invasion and escalation, we’re ready for that, too, with a robust response" Sullivan stated.
The President of Belarus, Lukashenko says that there are over 30,000 U.S. allied troops amassed in Poland and the Baltic States near Belarusian borders according to Russian News Agency TASS
"According to the data as of now, over 30,000 troops with military hardware, armaments and so on are amassed in Poland on the border with Belarus and in the Baltic states" Lukashenko stated.
Lukashenko said that Poland has turned to NATO's leadership and requested to deploy a multilayered logistic support system in the region.
He claimed that NATO is trying to put talks with Russia about security guarantees "on the back burner" and 'talk down all these negotiations and ideas and pretend as if nothing is happening".
"And we see what is happening" Lukashenko stated. "Warsaw has turned to the North Atlantic bloc’s leadership … with a request to deploy a multilayered logistics and maintenance support system in that region. As persons familiar with military affairs, we immediately ask: Why?".
"From 8,000 to 10,000 US troops are deployed on the territory of Poland and the Baltic states on a rotating basis. What do the Americans have to do there? Why do they reproach us and Russia that we hold maneuvers, drills and so on while they have come here from far away? What will you be doing here?" he asked.
The White House has repeated its warning of 'severe economic consequences' from both the United States and Western allies if Russia decides to invade Ukraine.
"In terms of sanctions, what we have laid out is a very clear message to the Russians, and we've done so in concert and in unison with our allies that if they do further invade Ukraine, there will be severe economic consequences and a price to pay". White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan stated on Sunday during an interview with 'Face The Nation'.
"If it turns out that Russia is pummeling Ukraine with cyberattacks, and if that continues over the period ahead, we will work with our allies on the appropriate response" he stated.
Sullivan said that if Russia does invade Ukraine the United States will 'take measures that go at their economy, that go at their strategic position in Europe, that strengthen the solidarity of NATO.
"We're ready either way. If Russia wants to move forward with diplomacy, we are absolutely ready to do that in lockstep with our allies and partners. If Russia wants to go down the path of invasion and escalation, we're ready for that too, with a robust response that will cut off their strategic position" he stated.
"So, from our perspective, we are pursuing simultaneously deterrence and diplomacy, and we've been clear and steadfast in that again, fully united with the transatlantic community".