UK military shares map of ‘Putin's invasion’
The British Defence Ministry has published a map of a potential Russian “invasion” of Ukraine, in the sort of measure previously reserved for the tabloid press. Red arrows race across the territory of the country to illustrate the possible routes along which the alleged attack might unfold.
“Russia retains a significant military presence that can conduct an invasion without further warning,” the UK's military tweeted, on Thursday. describing the image as “President Putin’s possible axis of invasion.”
The ministry’s map featured seven different arrows “invading” Ukraine from Russia and Belarus. DefenceHQ’s tweet came about an hour after UK foreign minister Liz Truss said she was “very concerned about reports today of increased Russian aggression.”
Truss followed that up by saying that reports of “alleged abnormal military activity by Ukraine in Donbas are a blatant attempt by the Russian government to fabricate pretexts for invasion.”
INTELLIGENCE UPDATE: Russia retains a significant military presence that can conduct an invasion without further warning. Below demonstrates President Putin's possible axis of invasion. He still can choose to prevent conflict and preserve peace. pic.twitter.com/QHRM1wNwJG— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) February 17, 2022
Following this messaging blitz from London, US President Joe Biden claimed that Russia is about to invade “within the next several days.”
Meanwhile, his Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the UN Security Council that Russia intended to “manufacture a pretext” for attacking that could be anything from “a fabricated so-called ‘terrorist’ bombing inside Russia, the invented discovery of a mass grave, a staged drone strike against civilians, or a fake – even a real – attack using chemical weapons.”
The US and the UK have been accusing Russia of wanting to invade Ukraine since late October, offering no evidence to back up their claims. That did not stop multiple media outlets from producing ominous maps of the coming “invasion,” which never materialized.
Moscow has denied the accusations and described Western media reports as “fake news.” Even the government in Kiev has asked its Western allies to dial down the rhetoric, saying it was spreading panic and hurting Ukraine.