Washington — U.S. intelligence indicates that Russian commanders received orders to invade Ukraine. Commanders on the ground have made specific plans about how they will maneuver in their respective areas of the battlefield. This is according to a U.S. official who spoke to CBS News.
According to the official, these orders do not mean that an invasion is certain. Russian President Vladimir Putin can still modify the orders if necessary.
After warnings for weeks that an invasion in Ukraine was imminent, President Biden stated to reporters that he was convinced that Putin had decided to invade Ukraine. He also said that the U.S. believed that Russian forces would attack the country in the “coming days”.
The White House announced that Mr. Biden had “accepted in principle”, and would meet with Putin within the next few days, provided that no invasion has begun. Talks would take place sometime after the meeting between U.S. Secretary Of State Antony Blinken, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Blinken stated to “Face the Nation”, that the U.S. believes Russia is “moving ahead” with plans for invasion, despite Moscow’s denials.
Blinken stated, “Everything that we see tells us that President Putin’s decision to invade is moving forward.” “We’ve seen this with the Russians and separatist forces creating provocations over the weekend, false Flag operations, and now we have news that Russia’s ‘exercises in Belarus’ with 30,000 Russian troops that were supposed to be ending this weekend will continue due to tensions in the eastern Ukraine, tensions that Russia supports there.
Russia has gathered around 150,000 troops, warplanes, and equipment on Ukraine’s three borders, increasing tensions. Belarus’ defense minister also stated that Russia would be expanding military drills in the country close to Ukraine’s northern border. This was a significant contingent of Russian troops who arrived in Belarus.
The U.S. and its allies, including Germany and Austria, have asked their citizens to flee the country in anticipation of an attack. Due to the rapid buildup of Russian troops, the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine temporarily moved its operations to Lviv from Kyiv.
On Sunday, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow issued an security alert warning that there were threats to shopping centers, metro stations and other public gatherings in major urban areas including Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as areas of increased tension at the Russian border with Ukraine.
The State Department has issued an alert urging Americans to evacuate Russia.
Top U.S. officials have warned Russia that it is ready to strike Ukraine, and the Pentagon has sent approximately 5,000 troops to Eastern Europe in support of NATO forces. However, the Biden administration still maintains a diplomatic option. President Obama has stated that no American force would enter Ukraine if Russia invades.
Sunday’s statement by Blinken stated that “my job as a diplomat was to leave no stone unturned” and to see if war can be prevented. “President Biden made it clear that he is ready to meet with President Putin at any time, in any format, if that helps prevent war. We’ll do our best to stop it, but even if it’s already over, we won’t rest until the dust settles, until the tanks roll, the planes fly, and the aggression has fully begun.
Oksana Markarova is the Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S. She said that Ukrainian officials are using every option to force Russia to take the diplomatic route over an attack.
She told Face the Nation that she was calling on Russia to be the aggressor. But, she also called on all our friends and allies to come together to stop Russia from invading. “
Markarova stated that Ukraine will continue to work day and night to prevent Russia’s invasion, but the events of the last few days suggest that there may be an escalation. This is contrary to Anatoly Antonov, the Russian Ambassador to the U.S. who claimed that Russia has no plans to invade.
She stated that she was seeing all the strong messages to Russia to not only get rid of the Ukraine’s borders but also to start an offensive in the last three days.
The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has also called for Putin to meet him to discuss the crisis. However, he also criticized Western leaders who met at a security conference held in Munich on Saturday and said they shouldn’t wait for an attack on Russia to impose sanctions.
The Biden administration warned that Putin could order an attack on Ukraine. Blinken stated Sunday that Russia would suffer if it was sanctioned now.
He said, “Once sanctions are triggered, the deterrent effect is gone.” “As long there’s still at least a minute in which we can prevent or deter a war, it’s going to be used.
Blinken stated that the U.S. does not want to reveal its plans publicly because it will “forewarn Russia.”