On Thursday, Pres. Joe Biden said that he expects the possibility of Russia invading Ukraine in the “next several days.” However, he also said he has “no plans” on calling Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin.
“My sense is it will happen within the next several days,” said Biden remarked about a Russian invasion. He then revealed that he has “no plans” to call the Russian president after speaking to him last Saturday.
“Every indication we have is they are prepared to go into Ukraine, attack Ukraine,” he went on to say.
On Saturday, Biden mentioned that the U.S., along with its allies, would respond “decisively and impose swift and severe costs” if Russia does invade Ukraine.
These remarks from the White House point to the diplomatic escalation happening while conflicting reports surfaced of Moscow starting a troop withdrawal from Ukrainian forces, along with reports stating that pro-Russian forces are “shelling” Ukraine’s installation.
“Ukraine and Moscow-backed separatists traded accusations Thursday of intensifying shell fire across their frontline, fuelling fears of a potential Russian invasion of its pro-Western neighbor,” according to AFP’s report.
“Ukraine has been in conflict with rebels in the eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions since 2014, in a war that has cost thousands of lives,” the report added. “But the new reports of intense shelling came as fears grow that the situation could escalate into a wider conflict.”
Additionally, pro-Russia troops allegedly attacked a nursery in an effort to frame Ukrainian forces in a “false flag” operation.
The UK’s Evening Standard reported: “A children’s nursery has allegedly been struck by pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine, raising fears among Western powers that Moscow is plotting a ‘false flag’ attack as an excuse to invade the country.”
On Thursday, Kyiv published images of a severely damaged building with children’s toys scattered on the floor, surrounded by debris that came as a result of an alleged shelling done by separatist forces in Stanytsia Luhanska, in eastern Ukraine.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson alleged that the attack on the kindergarten was a “false flag operation designed to discredit the Ukrainians.”
“We fear very much that that is a thing we will see more of over the next few days,” he went on to say.
In the U.S., Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin has warned about the reported Russian ‘provocation’ in the Ukrainian conflict. Moscow has pushed back diplomatically by expelling the U.S. mission in Russia’s deputy chief, as per AFP.
On Thursday, however, Russia’s Foreign Ministry denied that it is planning any form of attack on Ukraine. However, it added that it “will be forced to respond, including with military-technical measures,” if no U.S. security guarantees will happen. if there are no U.S. security guarantees.