The United States has intelligence reports that Russian commanders have received orders to begin an invasion of Ukraine. There are now commanders on the ground developing plans for how they will move their divisions on the battlefield. This is according to a U.S. official.
The specific orders do not mean that an invasion is for sure. President Vladimir Putin could certainly change his mind and give alternate orders, according to the official.
This breaking news comes after weeks of warnings that an invasion of Ukraine could happen soon. President Joe Biden spoke with the media on Friday and said that he was convinced that Putin had decided to invade Ukraine. He also said that the United States believed that Putin’s forces intended to attack in the “coming days.”
President Biden also noted that he agreed “in principle” to meet with Putin in the future as long as an invasion had not occurred. The specifics on when and where a discussion would take place have not yet been determined. It would almost certainly happen after a meeting will take place between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Secretary Blinken spoke on “Face the Nation” recently and said that the United States continues to believe that Russia is “moving forward” with plans to invade Ukraine. They maintain this belief even though there have been consistent denials from Russia that they are preparing for an attack.
Blinken said, “Everything we’re seeing tells us that the decision we believe President Putin has made to invade is moving forward.” He noted that they have watched provocations initiated by Putin’s forces against separatist forces over this past weekend; there have been false flag operations, and now there is news that Russia was engaged in “exercises” in Belarus with 30,000 Russian forces. Those were supposed to end this weekend but are continuing due to tension in eastern Ukraine.
In total, Russia has drawn together about 190,000 troops, along with warplanes and equipment. They have amassed this military strength on three sides of the Ukrainian border. This has increased tensions with the neighboring countries. In Belarus, the minister of defense has announced that Russia will be extending military drills in their country, bringing a large number of Russian troops to Belarus.
There are other nations, along with the United States, that are telling their citizens to leave Ukraine. Germany and Austria have both made such an announcement. The United States embassy in Ukraine has temporarily relocated its operations from Kyiv to Lviv because of the increased Russian forces.
Senator Ted Cruz discussed the impending attacks recently with the media and said that Russia has not invaded Ukraine in the past, but is primed to do so now.
“Putin has long wanted to invade Ukraine. Putin has been very candid, he has described the dissolution of the Soviet Union as in his view, the most disastrous geopolitical event of the 20th century.” Cruz went further explaining that Putin’s ambitions have always been to put the Soviet Union back the way it was in the days of Soviet dominance. He said that if you are going to do that, the “first and most important part is Ukraine, the breadbasket of the former Soviet Union.
Senator Cruz also noted that Russia’s primary export is natural gas and oil. Russia’s natural gas extends right through the middle of Ukraine’s pipelines. But Putin has now built a new pipeline called Nord Stream 2. It goes undersea directly from Russia to Germany. So it is now possible that Putin can invade Ukraine and take the risk that it might damage his precious energy infrastructure.
Will the United States and its allies just stand still and watch as Putin continues to give orders that make an invasion seem certain?