Moscow reacts to US ‘intelligence’ on Russian invasion
Attempts to work out when Russia might begin an invasion of Ukraine, despite the Kremlin’s insistence that war isn’t on the cards, only discredit Western intelligence agencies, Moscow has blasted as tensions continue to rise on the shared border between the two Eastern European nations.
In a series of comments issued on Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova poured scorn on Washington’s persistent announcements that an offensive is on the horizon.
According to her, Kiev, which has previously expressed doubt over claims an incursion is looming, has asked the West to lay off the doomsday warnings as such claims have dealt a blow to the country’s economy and created panic at home.
“Maybe [US officials] think it is normal to use a situation like this for some kind of revenge – something went wrong, and they need to push countries… to condemn people to torment, to suffer again, just to stroke their own ego, and among other things, are willing to go so far as to provide their own president with such distorted, falsified intelligence,” she said.
Reeling off a list of members of US President Joe Biden’s administration, Zakharova said that they had come out “one by one and said they had the intelligence in their hands.”
“What kind of intelligence is this? What kind of an embarrassment is this? Reports that an invasion is imminent or about to happen,” she went on. “The next minute, it turns out there is no absolute certainty that it is imminent, but yet there is already a date: in 48 hours, from 24 hours, maybe on the 15th, or 16th, maybe at 1 AM, maybe at 4AM.”
Western officials have been warning for months that Russia is massing its troops at the shared border ahead of ordering a full-blown offensive against Ukraine, accusations which the Kremlin has repeatedly denied. Over the weekend, the White House’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, told CNN that “sources” and “gathered intelligence” suggested “major military action” could “begin any day now.”
A number of American and British media outlets also ran stories claiming that February 15 or 16 could be the day Moscow’s armed forces strike. Bloomberg, which had previously mistakenly reported that an invasion had already begun, suggested Russia could attack on February 15, citing anonymous officials.
In a statement on Tuesday, Zakharova wrote that “15 February 2022 will go down in history as the day Western war propaganda failed,” insisting that the West has been “shamed and destroyed without firing a single shot.”