On Thursday, asked by a reporter whether Russia would indeed attack Ukraine, President Biden answered, “Yes. My sense is it will happen in the next several days.”
CNN’s Jeremy Diamond asked Biden how high the threat level was for a Russian invasion; Biden replied, “It’s very high. … It’s very high because they have not moved any of their troops out.”
“They have moved more troops in, number one,” Biden continued, according to CNN. “Number two, we have reason to believe they are engaged in a false flag operation to have an excuse to go in. Every indication we have is they are prepared to go into Ukraine, attack Ukraine.”
“Biden has predicted a Russian invasion of Ukraine before but has previously couched his forecast by saying Putin hadn’t made up his mind,” CNN noted.
Biden said he spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday about a possible diplomatic resolution, telling him, “There is a path, there is a way through this.”
Only hours before Biden’s prediction on Thursday, on Wednesday evening the Biden administration asserted that 7,000 more Russian forces troops had amassed on Ukraine’s borders in recent days. A Biden administration official stated, as CNN reported:
We should expect more false reports from Russian state media over the coming days….We don’t know what form the false pretext will take. But we hope the world is ready. … We will continue to pursue diplomacy over the coming days while being prepared to respond swiftly and decisively….Russia keeps saying it wants to pursue a diplomatic solution; their actions indicate otherwise. We hope they will change course before starting a war that will bring catastrophic death and destruction.
Ukrainian foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, stated that his rule regarding Russian claims was “Do not hear and then believe. But do see and then believe.”
On Tuesday, Biden said:
The United States and NATO are not a threat to Russia. Ukraine is not a threat to Russia. Neither the US nor NATO have missiles in Ukraine. We do not — do not — have plans to put them there, as well. We’re not targeting the people of Russia. We do not seek to destabilize Russia….To the citizens of Russia, you are not our enemy… And I do not believe you want a bloody destructive war against Ukraine, a country and the people with whom you share such deep ties of family history and culture.
Biden eschewed sending American troops to Ukraine, saying, “While I will not send American servicemen to fight in Ukraine, we have supplied the Ukrainian military equipment to help them defend themselves…We provided training and advice and intelligence for the same purpose.”
Then he continued, “Make no mistake, the United States will defend every inch of NATO territory with the full force of American power. An attack against one NATO country is an attack against all of us.”
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