Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), vice chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Intelligence Committee, issued an update on the Russian invasion of Ukraine via Twitter Thursday morning. According to Rubio, Russia’s goal within the next 72 hours is to make enough ground inland to Ukraine to essentially take control of the country and establish a pro-Russian interim government. To do this, Russia is purposefully targeting civilian structures, but the effort is taking longer than Russian President Vladimir Putin expected, Rubio added.
Early Thursday morning local time, Putin announced a “special military operation” into Ukraine and since then has launched a full-scale invasion of its western neighbor. Russia has claimed overnight they have destroyed 74 Ukrainian facilities, including 11 air bases. On Wednesday morning Ukraine called upon all international partners to assist in the war effort while arming all Ukrainians who want to fight with firearms. In addition, Ukraine is reporting that it has downed a half-dozen Russian aircraft.
Rubio announced that Russia had decided to invade Ukraine prior to Putin’s address announcing the military effort and is privy to intelligence information before the public due to his role in the Intelligence Committee.
Thursday morning, Rubio tweeted that “Russia’s invasion has already taken longer & been costlier than Putin expected. Almost certain his military & intel leaders knew this ahead of time but no one dared tell him his expectations were unrealistic.”
“Russia has launched several attacks on Ivano-Frankivsk, Vinnytsia & Lutsk, cities very close to Ukraine’s borders with NATO countries Romania,Poland & Slovakia. Just one mistake, miscalculation or misunderstanding could set off a broader & catastrophic conflict,” he continued.
“Russia is carrying out deliberate strikes on civilian targets,” the Florida senator added. “The purpose is to demoralize the population & diminish the will to resist. “
“Russia has 3 objectives over the next 72 hours -encircle & cut off Ukraine forces in the east -deny Ukraine the ability to resupply via airports and the Black Sea -Set the stage to install a pro-Russian interim government in Kyiv,” he explained.
“Putin nuclear threat last night was not a surprise,” Rubio also clarified. “For years now #Russia’s military doctrine in a war against NATO calls for the use of battlefield nuclear weapons in order to ‘escalate to deescalate’ & force a negotiated ceasefire.”
The update comes as Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky says Russian soldiers have reached the area surrounding Chernobyl, the site of the worst nuclear power disaster in history, The Daily Wire reported.
“Russian occupation forces are trying to seize the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Our defenders are giving their lives so that the tragedy of 1986 will not be repeated,” Zelensky said, according to the Independent. “This is a declaration of war against the whole of Europe.”