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19 Feb, 2022 01:02

Think tank reveals new date for ‘Russian invasion’

Moscow “may” attack Ukraine on Saturday while President Zelensky is in Munich, weapons industry backed outfit claims
Think tank reveals new date for ‘Russian invasion’

Russia may attack Ukraine on Saturday, starting with a “decapitating” strike against the government in Kiev before a full-scale invasion, the Institute for the Study of War, a top Washington think tank has warned.

The hawkish lobby group is funded the military industry, with its sponsors having included Raytheon and General Dynamics. 

“The attack would likely begin with an air and missile campaign targeting much of Ukraine to decapitate the government and degrade the Ukrainian military as well as the ability of Ukrainian citizens to prepare to resist a subsequent Russian invasion,” the ISW’s Fred Kagan and Mason Clark claimed in an urgent bulletin on Friday evening.

As the main reason they believed Saturday would be an “optimal” date for the attack, Kagan and Clark cited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s planned trip to the Munich Security Conference, where he is scheduled to speak on Saturday afternoon.

Zelensky’s absence “will degrade his ability to coordinate a response to any Russian attack and create more propitious circumstances for a Russian-sponsored attempt at a coup d’etat,” they claimed.

In a speech earlier on Friday, US President Joe Biden said it was Zelensky’s choice whether to travel to Munich. Officials from his administration have “privately urged” the president of Ukraine to stay in Kiev, CNN reported.

Kagan and Clark insisted that the entry of Russian troops into “occupied” Donbass and an air-and-missile campaign against the rest of Ukraine “are extremely likely and imminent and that a much larger-scale Russian invasion is very possible.”

US media and the White House have claimed that Russia was planning to invade Ukraine since late October, with some outlets going so far as to name February 16 as the date of the attack. Moscow has laughed off the accusations as “fake news” and repeatedly said there was no plan to attack Ukraine.

The ISW was established in 2007 by Kagan’s wife, Kimberly. Among its board members are retired US Army Generals Jack Keane and David Petraeus, former Senator Joe Lieberman, and neoconservative pundit Bill Kristol. Fred Kagan’s brother, Robert is the husband of Victoria Nuland, currently the fourth most senior official at the State Department.