With Western concerns of war growing, The White House said U.S. President’s security team has informed that they believe Russia might strike in Ukraine “at any time.”
Donetsk/Moscow, Russia’s strategic nuclear forces, conducted exercises under the supervision of Pun. Vladimir Putin on Saturday, and Washington has accused Russian troops in a massed formation close to Ukraine’s borders of moving and of being “poised to attack.”
With Western concerns of war growing with the threat of war, the White House said U.S. President Joe Biden’s national security staff informed him that they believe Russia might strike in Ukraine “at any moment” and that he was planning to gather his top advisors this Sunday for a discussion of the issue.
Foreign ministers representing members of the G7 group of nations with high incomes have said that they had not seen any evidence Russia is cutting down on its military activities in the region and is “gravely worried” about the current situation.
Following Kyiv and Moscow exchanging accusations about new shelling at the frontier, France and Germany urged all or a portion of their citizens living in Ukraine to go home. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated that Russian forces began to “uncoil and advance closer” towards the border.
“We hope that he (Putin) takes a step back from the edge of war,” Austin told a news conference in Lithuania and said that the possibility of an attack on Ukraine was not unavoidable.
Russia is directing the military build-up, demanding NATO to stop Ukraine from joining NATO, but insists that Western warnings that it intends to invade Ukraine are absurd and risky. Moscow claims it’s pulling back. However, Washington and its allies claim the build-up is increasing.
Washington and NATO claim that Russia’s most important demands are not a priority; however, in Ukraine, there is a growing concern about Putin’s plans.
Disguising his anger at an international security summit at Munich, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy declared that the global security framework had become “almost in a state of collapse.” Zelenskiy urged Permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, Germany, and Turkey to gather to discuss new security assurances for his country.
“The world’s rules came to a consensus on decades ago are no longer effective,” Zelenskiy said. “They are not keeping up with the latest dangers … It’s a cough medicine when you require a coronavirus vaccination.”
World Bank President David Malpass said to Zelenskiy on Saturday that the bank was preparing to provide funding to Ukraine that could be as high as $350 million.
CRUISE AND HYPERSONIC MISSILES
The Kremlin declared that Russia has successfully tested cruise missiles and hypersonics in the sea during nuclear force drills. Putin was present during the exercises through screens and Belarusian head of state Alexander Lukashenko from a “situation center.”
In his most direct prediction to date, Biden said on Friday that he was confident Putin was deciding to invade Ukraine within the next few days. Austin stated on Saturday that the nuclear force exercises were sparking concern around the globe.
“President Biden continues to monitor the changing situation in Ukraine and is constantly updated on developments in Ukraine from his team of national security,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. “They confirmed that Russia may launch an attack on Ukraine anytime.”
Foreign ministers from the G7 called for Russia to take the route of diplomacy. “As an initial step, we expect Russia to take the pledged reduction in its military operations within Ukraine’s borders. There is no evidence of the diminution,” they said.
Zelenskiy claimed to have had the “urgent” phone call to French President Emmanuel Macron and discussed possible options for immediate de-escalation and diplomatic settlement. Macron is scheduled to talk to Putin next Sunday.
The nuclear drills are a follow-up to maneuvers carried out by Russia’s military in the last four months, including a re-enforcement of troops estimated to be in the West to be at least 150,000 or more in the east, north as well as south Ukraine.
New helicopters and an army of transporters for personnel and support equipment were moved to areas in Russia near the border with Russia, According to U.S.-based Maxar Technologies, which analyzes the latest developments by using satellite images.
Moscow-based analysts say the exercises on Saturday were intended to send the message that Russia should take its demands seriously.
“Ignoring legitimate Russian rights within this region can negatively impact stability, not just in the European continent but also around the world.” His ministry reported Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying to his French counterpart on the phone.
A NATO official told the news agency that the alliance moved personnel to Kyiv to the city of Lviv in the West of Lviv and Brussels to ensure safety. It is believed that the United States and other countries have relocated diplomats from Kyiv to Lviv.
Russian-backed rebels took over a large area in eastern Ukraine, and Russia took over Crimea of Ukraine at the end of 2014. Kyiv claims that more than 14000 people were killed in the war in eastern Ukraine.
Leaders of the separatist movement in the eastern region of Ukraine are preparing a total army mobilization after directing children and women to flee to Russia in the wake of threats of an imminent attack from Ukrainian forces and Ukrainian forces, which Kyiv did not deny.
Along with Western leaders, Kyiv believes that the mobilization of troops, evacuations, and more shelling is part of a Russian strategy to create the pretext for an attack.
Russia’s FSB security department said that two shells fell on Russian territory close to the border with Russia, Russia’s Tass news agency announced.
The Ukrainian military has accused Russia of creating fake images of shells to show they were Ukrainian and claimed that the mercenaries were in separatist-held eastern Ukraine to carry out provocations with the help of Russian military special units.
The foreign minister of Ukraine requested an independent investigation into the alleged incident. The military claimed that two soldiers had died during a shelling campaign by separatists from Russia in eastern Ukraine.
On Friday, reports from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the two self-proclaimed, Russian-backed republics of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions, were struck with more than 1400 blasts, reports from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) declared. Nearly 22,000 ceasefire violations were reported from OSCE observers on the weekend, and an official informed Reuters.
Multiple explosions were heard overnight into Sunday in the center of the separatist-controlled city of Donetsk, a Reuters reporter said. The cause of the blasts is not known. It was unclear whether separatist officials or Kyiv had an immediate reaction.
“It’s terrifying. I’ve packed everything I can transport,” said Tatyana, 30, who was on the bus with her four-year-old daughter.
Russian media reported that 10,000 refugees had been brought to Russia. Separatist leaders claim they want to move 700,000 people out of Russia.