Britain has warning for those awaiting Russian invasion
Trying to guess a specific date when Moscow’s armed forces could storm across the Ukrainian border and launch a full-blown offensive is futile, the UK’s defense secretary has cautioned, as Western officials and news agencies weigh in with speculation on if and when Russia could strike.
Speaking as part of an interview with Sky News on Wednesday, Ben Wallace set out his view that naming the day an attack could happen is not worthwhile, as tensions remain on the shared frontier between the two eastern European nations.
“It's pretty clear that their intention towards Ukraine is to change their behavior, and indeed change NATO's relationship towards Ukraine, and they're doing so with the threat of invasion,” he said, adding that the world must use its own judgement on the scale of the purported troop build-up at the demarcation line.
According to the minister, there is “really no point speculating on a specific date, however there are definitely dates in the mix.”
“But I think it is unhelpful to speculate,” he said, explaining that it could raise questions as to whether intelligence assessments of an impending incursion have been incorrect all this time.
His remarks come after a number of Western media publications claimed that Moscow’s armed forces were poised to stage an offensive on February 15 or 16. Notorious British tabloid The Sun reported on Tuesday that an attack, featuring a “massive missile blitz and 200,000 troops,” was due to take place in the early hours of Wednesday morning. However, once this deadline had passed, the outlet rephrased its article to state that the onslaught could come “at any time.”
Moscow has repeatedly denied that it has aggressive intentions towards its neighbor and has hit out at the frenzy whipped up in the press. On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that “15 February 2022 will go down in history as the day Western war propaganda failed,” and that the West has been “shamed and destroyed without firing a single shot.”
On the same day, Moscow’s Ministry of Defense announced that a number of Russian troops had wrapped up their training drills in Belarus, close to the Ukrainian border, and had begun the process of returning to their regular deployments.