Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to invade Ukraine explains U.S. President Joe Biden, “I am convinced he’s made that decision.” Military intelligence believes the invasion will happen in the coming week, perhaps sooner. They are fairly certain that the Russians will target Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv.
Biden intends to spend the weekend meeting with his national security team while monitoring the continuing crisis from the White House. He will remain in close contact with other world leaders, according to CNN. The president will remain in Washington this weekend instead of taking his typical weekend jaunt to Delaware.
Typically, U.S. National Security keeps a tight lid on intelligence. However, in the past several days, the Biden administration has publically shared several details about Russian troop movements. Explaining this marked shift in policy, the president said they wanted to “loudly and repeatedly” discuss what Russia was doing. He added:
Make no mistake. If Russia pursues its plans, it will be responsible for a catastrophic and needless war of choice.
I spoke today with Transatlantic Allies and partners to discuss Russia’s military build-up in and around Ukraine. We agreed on our support for Ukraine, to continue diplomatic efforts, and affirmed our readiness to impose massive costs on Russia should it choose further conflict.
— President Biden (@POTUS) February 18, 2022
The president’s confidence in his assertion about Putin making the decision to invade Ukraine is contrary to his previous statements that the Russian president had not made up his mind. Nonetheless, Biden hopes diplomacy could de-escalate the Ukrainian crisis. It is “always a possibility,” referring to Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken’s plans to meet with Russia’s foreign minister next week. He added that if Russia takes military action before the meeting then there would be little doubt that Putin slammed the door shut on further diplomatic negotiations.
Biden also emphasized that the U.S. and its allies agreed that if the time came they supported imposing severe economic sanctions should Putin’s military forces cross Ukraine’s borders.
Maris Zakharova, Russia’s foreign ministry spokesperson refuted Biden’s statements. She said Russia did not intend to invade Ukraine, according to state-run news agency RIA-Novos, reports to CNN.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
CNN: Biden says he’s now convinced Putin has decided to invade Ukraine, but leaves door open for diplomacy; by Maegan Vazquez, Kevin Liptak, Betsy Klein, and Sam Fossum
Reuters: Analysis: U.S., allies united if Russia invades, at odds over other scenarios; by Andrea Shalal and Robin Emmott
The New York Times: Citing U.S. Intelligence, Biden Says Putin Has Decided to Invade Ukraine; by Michael D. Shear
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset image Courtesy of Bill Smith’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License