POTUS 'convinced' that Russia will invade Ukraine

POTUS 'convinced' that Russia will invade Ukraine
Vice President Joe Biden greets Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at the Russian White House, in Moscow, Russia, March 10, 2011. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

President Joe Biden on Friday addressed the nation on the heightening tensions along the Russia-Ukraine border, where nearly 200,000 troops have amassed in what the West believes is a harbinger of an invasion.

Speaking from the Roosevelt Room in the White House, Biden said that Russian President Vladimir Putin has already made up his mind about launching a military offensive into Europe's Eastern-most democracy.

“We have reason to believe the Russian forces are planning to, intend to, attack Ukraine in the coming week, in the coming days,” Biden said. “We believe that they will target Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, a city of 2.8 million innocent people.”

Biden further revealed that he is "convinced" that Putin has "made the decision" to send his forces into Ukraine, although he stressed that Putin can still "choose diplomacy.”

The president also declared that "it is not too late to de-escalate and return to the negotiating table" in anticipation of next Wednesday's scheduled talks between United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Biden warned however that “if Russia takes military action before that day, it will be clear that they have slammed the door shut on diplomacy.”

Concerns over an imminent Russian incursion swelled this week following multiple instances of shelling and artillery fire in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Eastern Ukraine. Despite numerous intelligence reports that Russian-backed separatists were behind the attacks, the Kremlin blamed the Ukrainian government. This validated the fears among North Atlantic Treaty Organization member nations that Russia was planning to carry out false-flag operations that they could pin on Ukraine and use as a pretext for a formal invasion.

“Starting several weeks ago, we acquired information that the Russian government was planning to stage a fabricated attack by Ukrainian military or security forces against Russian sovereign territory, or against Russian-speaking people in separatist-controlled territory, to justify military action against Ukraine,” Michael Carpenter, the American ambassador to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, wrote on Friday.

But engaging in a traditional ground war is not the only danger that Russia poses to global geopolitical and economic security. Moscow has a sophisticated cyber-warfare apparatus with the capability of disrupting international commerce and disabling electrical grids. The Russians also control a vast swath of the continent's energy resources – specifically oil and natural gas – worth hundreds of billions of dollars and upon which much of Western Europe depends.

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