Ukraine assesses possibility of Russian invasion
Despite claims from the West that an invasion of Ukraine is just around the corner, the chance of a serious escalation on the Russian border still remains low, the Ukrainian defense minister said on Sunday.
In a statement published on his ministry’s website, Alexey Reznikov explained that assistance from foreign countries had significantly boosted Kiev’s capacity for resistance, but it is not expected that donated weapons will need to be fired any time soon.
“We have all the information, and we assess the situation realistically. At the moment, there are a lot of different hypothetical assessments and forecasts, especially in the foreign media,” Reznikov said. “It is the duty of the military to calculate all possible scenarios, even the worst ones, and to do everything possible to neutralize threats. That is what is happening right now. The probability of a significant escalation as of today continues to be assessed as low.”
In the last three months, Western countries, led by the US, have accused Moscow of placing 100,000 troops on the border with Ukraine, with some alleging it is planning an attack. This claim has repeatedly been denied by the Kremlin, and it has also been played down by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, despite warnings from Washington that an invasion could begin at any time.
On Sunday, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan warned that an attack could be launched as early as this week.
“We believe that there is a very distinct possibility that Vladimir Putin will order an attack on Ukraine. It could take a number of different forms. It could happen as soon as tomorrow, or it could take some weeks yet,” Sullivan told ABC.
In response to claims of an impending invasion, Moscow has slammed Western rhetoric as “aggressive” and “dangerous” while arguing that the deployment of troops near Russian borders and weapons deliveries to Kiev are leading to a worsening of tensions.
Last month President Zelensky called on citizens to remain calm, stating that the threat of impending war had not increased.
“The only reason to panic now is, if, after eight years of war, we finally succumb to it,” he said. “Withdrawing money from our accounts, taking everything off the shelves, sharing fakes and scare stories with all our friends and acquaintances. All our citizens need to take a breather.”