US officials make Russian blood claim – Reuters
Citing “three US officials,” Reuters has reported that Russia is allegedly moving blood supplies and other medical materials closer to its frontier with Ukraine. The anonymous individuals cited by the agency have claimed that this was one of the “concrete indicators” showing whether Moscow is poised to launch an invasion.
“The disclosure of the blood supplies” by unidentified US officials “adds another piece of context to growing US warnings that Russia could be preparing for a new invasion of Ukraine,” Reuters pointed out.
Blood supplies have a short shelf life, typically around 14 days when refrigerated.
Two of the officials cited in the report told Reuters that the blood supplies were shipped “within recent weeks,” but did not provide a specific timeline.
The report came on the same day that top Pentagon official, Joint Chiefs of Staff chair General Mark Milley, warned that the impact of a potential invasion would be “horrific” and lead to heavy casualties, considering the forces that Russia allegedly “has arrayed” near Ukraine. He claimed that the alleged Russian military buildup at its border with Ukraine was “larger in scale and scope” than anything seen since the end of the Cold War.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, meanwhile, noted that according to the US assessment, Russian President Vladimir Putin has not yet made up his mind on whether to invade Ukraine and has “multiple options” available, “including seizure of cities and significant territories but also [coercive] acts and provocative political acts, like the recognition of breakaway territories.”
The Kremlin has repeatedly denied having aggressive intentions but has warned of “military-technical measures” if its security concerns – such as the request that NATO does not expand into Ukraine or Georgia – are not addressed.
“If it is up to the Russian Federation, there will be no war,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday. However, he added, Russia “will not allow our interests to be brutally attacked or to be ignored, either.”