Russian ‘little green men’ all over eastern Ukraine – Psaki
The White House has alleged that Russian troops are already “all over eastern Ukraine,” but they are not wearing the country’s military uniform.
Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked to clarify how many of these troops she believed were on Ukrainian soil, but declined to provide any “number of specifics,” saying that she could not “get into intelligence.”
Psaki claimed there had been a “Russian military presence in Ukraine since back to 2014,” which Moscow “never admitted, they never acknowledged.” She qualified her allegation by saying that, “in some ways,” Moscow has “only recently acknowledged” the supposed presence of its troops on Ukrainian soil.
She went on to describe this information as “really important” for Americans, who “may be just tuning in.”
The US press secretary concluded that Russian troops were “all over eastern Ukraine” by now, and noted that they were not wearing “Russian military uniform.” According to the White House, these unidentified military personnel, whom she dubbed “little green men,” were “behaving just like Russian military would be behaving.”
However, she refused to give a “number or specifics” regarding the extent of the alleged Russian military presence in Ukraine, as she could not “get into intelligence.”
Wrapping up that part of her speech, Psaki emphasized once again how important it was for Americans to be aware that these troops had been in Ukraine since 2014. However, she then appeared a little lost in terminology when she first referred to the troops allegedly in eastern Ukraine as “representing the Russian government,” only to describe them as “separatists” in the very next sentence. Psaki also urged journalists to stop “calling them peacekeepers” as “they are certainly not that.”
Following Russia’s recognition of the two Donbass republics, President Vladimir Putin suggested deploying peacekeepers to the region to protect the Russian-speaking population from the alleged aggression by the Ukrainian military. On Tuesday, the Russian parliament granted Putin the authority to deploy Russian military personnel overseas; however, no decision regarding a peacekeeping mission in the Donbass has been announced yet.
During her briefing on Tuesday, Psaki also hailed Germany’s move to halt the certification process of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline – a joint Russian-EU project which, just like its operational twin the Nord Stream, would deliver Russian natural gas to Germany and onward to some other European nations.
The White House press secretary made it clear that Berlin’s decision came as a result of a “range of diplomatic engagements and efforts” by the Biden administration as well as certain European nations, who had signaled to Germany that “this could not move forward.”