Ukraine issues rebuke to US
Ukraine’s security forces have no reason to believe that Russia is planning to launch a full-scale invasion this week, despite claims from Western media outlets that an offensive will begin on Wednesday, a senior official in Kiev said.
On Monday, Aleksey Danilov expressed confidence that “the situation is absolutely under control.” Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, has repeatedly played down the threat of war in recent weeks, despite claims from Western politicians that conflict is imminent.
“As of today, we do not see that a large-scale attack by the Russian Federation can take place either on the 16th or the 17th. We do not see that,” he said following a private meeting with MPs.
His comments follow reports in Western media outlets, citing American intelligence reports, that Russia is planning to launch an invasion of Ukraine on Wednesday. While these reports have not been publicly verified by Washington, the White House has continued to insist that an attack could begin any day.
On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared that February 16 would be designated as a day of national unity, ordering the national anthem to be played throughout the country, noting that Kiev had been informed by the West that it is a possible date for invasion. This announcement came two days after he pleaded with the US for intelligence about an attack.
“Should you or anybody else have additional information about a 100% invasion of Ukraine by Russia, starting on February 16, please give us such information,” Zelensky said.
In recent months, Russia has been accused of placing more than 100,000 soldiers near its border with Ukraine, with some believing this to be a sign of an impending invasion. Last week, the US announced that it would begin evacuating its embassy in Kiev, while urging its citizens to leave the country.