US: ‘Russian Invasion In Ukraine Within Weeks’
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy Nees
MOSCOW/WASHINGTON (Worthy News) – The United States accuses Russia of preparing to invade Ukraine within weeks amid concerns inside the U.S.-led NATO military alliance about a possible new major conflict in Europe.
American intelligence findings released Friday suggest some 100,000 Russian troops massing along Ukraine’s borders could enter the country on “a false pretext.”
An unnamed U.S. official told reporters Friday that Russia has operatives trained in explosives to carry out a “false-flag” operation to fabricate a reason to invade Ukraine.
The operatives could attack, for instance, Russian-backed forces in or near eastern Ukraine that Moscow could blame on Ukraine’s government.
They were preparing to start working “several weeks” before a military invasion, which could begin between mid-January and mid-February, the official told media.
“We have information that indicates Russia has already prepositioned a group of operatives to conduct a false-flag operation in eastern Ukraine,” the official said. “The operatives are trained in urban warfare and in using explosives to carry out acts of sabotage against Russia’s own proxy forces.”
The official said Russia had also increased a disinformation campaign on social media, including posts that accuse Ukraine of rights violations and the West of provoking tensions.
Russian-language justifications for Moscow’s narratives on Ukraine on social media had allegedly jumped by 200 percent in December to nearly 3,500 posts per day.
Jake Sullivan, the U.S. national security advisor, said Russia used similar tactics in 2014 when it captured Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula and backed an insurgency in eastern Ukraine.
The announcement came as hopes were waning Friday within NATO that an invasion could be avoided after a week of talks between U.S. and Russian diplomats in Brussels and Geneva.
“There is a real risk of a new armed conflict in Europe,” said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg after the meetings.
Moscow says it has “no intention” to invade Ukraine.
“Until now, all these statements have been unfounded and have not been confirmed by anything,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a statement.
However, Russia demands security guarantees and says NATO must halt its expansion eastwards and not accept Ukraine as a new member.
Stoltenberg says it’s up to Ukraine or any other European country to decide whether to join the alliance.
Amid the tensions, there were fears of more bloodshed in Ukraine, where clashes between government forces and Russian-backed separatists in the east already killed 14,000 people.
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