On Thursday morning, President Biden addressed reporters regarding a shelling event in a Ukrainian village just the day before. Biden stated that the United States “has reason to believe” that Russia is setting up the “false flag” operation which Washington has been predicted for over a week.
Biden predicted that a Russian invasion to the Ukraine “will happen in the next several days.”
The escalating tensions in Eastern Europe have even affected Wall Street, where the Dow is down by about 400 points from yesterday.
Yesterday, shelling took place in a village; pictures of the damage to a kindergarten building in the area show a brick building riddled with holes and bricks strewn across an interior room in the building. Today, Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists are taking turns blaming each other for initiating the event. Joe Biden cited the shelling as a possible diversion to invade the country formally. He added that tensions are “very high” in the area.
When asked about reports from the Kremlin that Putin is pulling troops back, Biden replied, “They have not moved their troops out. They’ve moved more troops in.”
Early reports counted Russian troops at about 100,000. The latest headcount reveals that at least 150,000 troops are now posted around the Ukrainian border.
Biden echoed the statements of General Lloyd Austin, Secretary of Defense, when reporters questioned him about the possibility of diplomacy to prevent an invasion. Biden appeared open to talks with the Kremlin, just as General Austin stated earlier Thursday.
Biden sent Secretary of State Antony Blinken to speak to the United Nations Security Council on Thursday before Blinken left for Germany. Blinken’s assignment at the UN this morning was to “lay out” a “diplomatic path” that could be taken. Even though the situation appears to be steadily worsening in Eastern Europe, Biden told reporters that he “has no plans to call Putin right now.”
President Biden spoke with Vladimir Putin last Saturday via phone.
Secretary of Defense Austin told reporters earlier today that Russia was continually building up its “military presence” in Crimea, the Black Sea, and in Belarus – all of which are on the border of the Ukraine. Austin added, “in many ways this brings Russian troops right up to NATO’s doorstep.”
Many Washington officials from President Biden and Pentagon spokesman John Kirby as well as United States Senator John Cornyn have all called Putin’s actions “right out of their (Russia’s) playbook.”
Russian tanks were filmed being shipped near the Ukrainian border via railway earlier this week, and Fox News is reporting that a pontoon bridge has been built near the Belarus and Ukrainian border.
A striker brigade of 125 men is being sent to Bulgaria as a means of “reassuring” the people there.
Initial reports regarding a possible false flag operation stated Russia might possibly produce a video that depicted what appeared to be a Ukrainian attack on Russia troops; officials said the video might even depict corpses and other casualties to make it appear that the Ukrainians fired the initial shots. On February 3, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that it is possible that Russia would attempt to make it appear that Ukrainian forces attacked a “Russian sovereign territory” or “Russian-speaking people.” Either of these would serve as the “false flag” operations the U.S. suspects Putin might employ.
Fox News is reporting on Thursday afternoon that helicopters are being moved in near the border of Belarus.
As of this writing, however, Fox reporters on the ground in Kyiv say that most citizens in the capital city of the Ukraine are going on about their lives in a business as usual manner. Reporters stated that people aren’t leaving the city although rumors of a possible invasion loom over the area.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was question by Fox News on Thursday regarding the Russian capability; Stoltenbery replied, “(Russia has enough resources as well as troops for) beginning a full-fledged invasion of Ukraine with very little or no warning time