Invasion underway! Explosions reported near KYIV.
As I write this today, I am glued to the news feeds regarding war with Russia and Ukraine. With Russia moving 100 thousand troops at the border and the Kremlin denying any invasion to NATO, the US threatened their every move. Russia just kicked off a joint military exercise with Belarus and the USA warning that Russia could double the number of troops and launch an attack.
The US is sending further military material to Ukraine and will supply more if Russia invades also they have encouraged neighbouring countries to supply weapons. US diplomats say they do not believe President Vladimir Putin has yet decided whether to launch an invasion but say he has until mid-February to do so, because of meteorological constraints. If he does, they say there will be massive consequences for Russia.
President Vladimir Putin has issued demands to the West, including that Ukraine is stopped from joining NATO. He also wants the Western defensive alliance to abandon military activity in eastern Europe but has received no reassurances.
The Americans want to talk about avoiding war in Ukraine. The Russians want to talk about their demands for NATO to step back and allow Moscow to establish a new sphere of influence across Eastern Europe. All the while, the build-up of Russian troops and equipment continues.
Ukrainian forces are holding their own exercises and some western powers are providing them with military assistance.
Following discussions in Berlin with British, French and German officials on Thursday, Mr Blinken said that allowing a Russian incursion into Ukraine would drag us all back to a much more dangerous and unstable time, when this continent, and this city, were divided in two… with the threat of all-out war hanging over everyone’s heads.