For some time now, the world has been watching as Vladimir Putin threatened to invade the Ukraine. As of this writing, Putin has some 100,000 troops amassed at the Ukrainian border, and, according to some, the Russian president is prepared to send even more.
On Saturday, President Joe Biden had an important meeting with his national security team. Reports are rolling in that Putin is not only eyeing a physical invasion of the Ukraine, but he is also planning to install a pro-Russian leader in that country.
One U.S. official told Fox News that the reports of this plan are “deeply concerning.”
A photo courtesy of the White House social media showed Biden as well as his advisers at Camp David, Maryland. Here, the officials gathered to discuss “continued Russian aggression actions toward Ukraine.”
On Wednesday, President Biden held only his second press conference since taking the Oval Office in January 2021. During the presser, Biden was asked about the Russian troops on the Ukrainian border among other questions. When Biden answered, off the cuff, he made the statement that the American response would depend on Putin’s actions. He even said, “It’s one thing if its a minor incursion. . .”
These comments by Biden were walked back by multiple Biden spokespeople on Thursday, but, with the escalating Russian aggression in the Ukraine, critics believe that Putin is taking Biden at his word.
According to a post by the White House, “the president affirmed that if Russia further invades the Ukraine, the U.S. will impose swift and severe consequences on Russia with our allies and partners.”
However, it is unclear just how much “teeth” will be in these sanctions. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) appeared on “Mornings with Maria” on Fox News Sunday morning lineup. He said that sanctions may depend on assistance from European allies, such as Germany. The White House approval of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline as well as Germany’s dependence on Russian oil for its own country’s energy needs could prove that sanctions on Russia may not be as “swift and severe” as Biden is promising.
On Saturday, the Foreign Commonwealth and Development office of the United Kingdom made a statement that it may have information suggesting there is a plan by Putin to install a pro-Russian Ukrainian leader.
A spokesperson for the British agency stated: “We have information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy the Ukraine.” According to information obtained by the agency, Putin is looking to put Yevhen Murayev, a former Ukrainian member of Parliament, in that position.
Britain has already sent anti-tank weapons to Ukraine as a effort to assist the country should it be invaded by Russia.
A White House spokesperson, Emily Horne, said that “this kind of plotting is deeply concerning. The Ukrainian people have the sovereign right to determine their own future, and we stand with our democratically elected partners in Ukraine.”
The United States has worked to unify its European allies against Russian aggression in Eastern Europe.