Friday, August 12, 2022
HomeRussian invasion of Ukraine possible to happen within days, US warns

Russian invasion of Ukraine possible to happen within days, US warns

White House warns of ‘credible prospect’ of action as UK urges nationals to leave Kyiv

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  • U.S, Japan, Australia urge their citizens to leave
  • U.S. says air attack likely first
  • New Russian border deployments detected by satellite
  • U.S. to send 3,000 extra troops to Poland – sources
  • Moscow says response to its demands shows ‘disrespect’

WASHINGTON/MOSCOW – The US has warned that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could be launched within days after president Joe Biden summoned transatlantic leaders to a meeting to discuss the crisis and embassies stepped up warnings for their citizens to leave the country.

Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser, said there was a “credible prospect” of Russia launching an attack on Ukraine before the end of the Beijing Olympics on February 20.

While the US does not believe that Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, has yet made a “final decision”, Washington said the country had built up sufficient military capability including troops and equipment to make a move as early as next week.

Sullivan said an invasion could take several forms, including a “rapid assault” on Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital. He added that an invasion is “likely to begin with aerial bombing and missile attacks that could obviously kill civilians without regard to their nationality”.

He added: “A subsequent ground invasion would involve the onslaught of a massive force with virtually no notice”.

Biden’s national security adviser said Russia would face a stronger and more determined Nato alliance, “massive pressure” on its economy and a wave of “condemnation” from around the world if it went ahead with an attack.

Russia is ramping up its military capability along Ukraine’s border, sending additional troops and equipment to the region, and has also started a large-scale militar.

International oil benchmark Brent jumped 4.3 per cent to $95.25 a barrel in afternoon trading in New York. US marker West Texas Intermediate rose 5 per cent to $94.36. The Russian rouble fell 3.2 per cent against the dollar, reaching the weakest level since early February. Traders sought shelter in haven assets, sending yields on US government bonds tumbling.

Sullivan spoke after Biden held a call with counterparts, including the leaders of Germany, France and the UK, to discuss their strategy towards Russia. Biden may speak to Putin as well, Sullivan said.

An ally of Boris Johnson, UK prime minister, said the call was “very sobering”. On the call Johnson said he “feared for the security of Europe”, according to a Downing Street account.

The UK on Friday urged its citizens to leave Ukraine and said it would withdraw some embassy staff. Japan, the Netherlands and Latvia also advised nationals to leave as soon as possible. The US reiterated warnings to its citizens to evacuate.

SourceREUTERS

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