Conflicts & War

Biden says chance of Russian invasion ‘very high’ amid ‘false flag’ claims

Washington D.C., Feb 17 (EFE).- The risk of a Russian invasion of Ukraine is “very high” and could happen in the coming days, United States president Joe Biden said Thursday.

Biden’s comments coincided with reports of ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine and claims from the West that Russia was plotting to stage a ‘false flag’ operation to justify military action, although Moscow once again insisted it was not planning to invade.

Asked to comment on the threat level of a feared Russian invasion, Biden told reporters at the White House on Thursday: “It’s very high.”

He added: “They have not moved any of their troops out, they’ve moved more troops in, number one. 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 that they are prepared to go into Ukraine, to attack Ukraine,” he said, adding that he believed that such an operation would happen in the next “several days.”

The US and Nato on Wednesday cast doubt on Russian claims that some military units had been pulled back from the Ukrainian border, where a build-up of some 100,000 troops sparked fears that Moscow planned to invade.


Russia on Thursday denied it was planning an invasion but in a letter to Washington accused the US of ignoring security demands.

In the letter, which itself is a reply to the US response to Moscow’s terms on de-escalating the Ukraine crisis, Russia threatened to react with “military-technical” measures, although did not specify what that term meant.

The text, handed over to the US ambassador to Moscow, John Sullivan, also demanded that Washington cease all arms supplies to Kiev and withdraw American troops from central and eastern Europe.

President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly demanded that Nato halt its expansion near Russia’s borders, including Ukraine, and listed it as one of the Kremlin’s original security demands.

Around the same time the documents were lodged, Moscow expelled deputy US ambassador Bartle Gorman in a move the US State Department described as “unprovoked.”


The Ukrainian government and pro-Russian separatists in control of the self-proclaimed republics of Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine accused each other of violating a ceasefire along the frontline, where an eight-year war has claimed over 13,000 lives, according to United Nations calculations.

Kiev claimed that separatists were behind 29 violations of the ceasefire, including a shell that hit a kindergarten, injuring two, according to media reports.

Separatist forces said Ukraine had targeted nine locations under their control using mortar fire, grenade launchers and machine gun fire.

The alleged aggressions come as Western officials warned that Russia could be planning to stage a false flag operation in Ukraine to underpin an invasion.

“We are concerned that Russia is trying to stage a pretext for an armed attack against Ukraine,” Nato’s chief Jens Stoltenberg told a meeting of the alliance’s defense ministers in Brussels on Thursday.

“We know their (Russia’s) capacity, we know the forces they have amassed, but we don’t know with certainty their intentions,” he added.

The United Kingdom’s prime minister Boris Johnson on Thursday told local press that the shelling of the kindergarten in eastern Ukraine “was a false-flag operation designed to discredit the Ukrainians, designed to create a pretext, a spurious provocation for Russian action.”EFE

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