U.S. President Joe Biden on June 10 insisted that U.S. intelligence had tried to warn Ukraine about the imminent danger of a Russian invasion, but Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky "didn't want to hear it."
"Nothing like this has happened since World War II," U.S.-based VoA international broadcaster quoted Biden as saying during a fundraiser in Los Angeles where he was talking about his work to rally and solidify support for Ukraine as the war continues into its fourth month.
"I know a lot of people thought I was maybe exaggerating. But I knew we had data to sustain (that) he – meaning Russian President Vladimir Putin – was going to go in, off the border."
According to Biden, "there was no doubt," but "Zelensky didn't want to hear it, nor did a lot of people," the Bloomberg news agency reported on June 11.
The U.S. president acknowledged that the possibility of Russian President Vladimir Putin launching a full-scale invasion may have seemed far-fetched, saying "I understand why they didn't want to hear it."
Zelensky, intelligence and other high-ranking officials said they had seen Russia's preparations for the invasion, but the "volume and audacity" came as a surprise.
According to Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, it was expected that Russia would attack on Feb. 22, not Feb. 24, but Ukrainians could not be warned about the exact date "for security reasons."
Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. June 11 is the 108th day of full-scale war. The invading forces tried to advance from the north, east and south, shelling peaceful cities throughout Ukraine using artillery, and bombing them from the air.
At the initial stage of the invasion, the most difficult situations were seen in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, and Mariupol. For more than a month, Russia shelled Kyiv and the outskirts of the capital, completely destroying a number of settlements.
At the moment, the Russian invaders are trying to capture those territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts that have been under Ukrainian governmental control since the beginning of the war in 2014.
Before the Russian invaders started shelling settlements in the Donbas, the Ukrainian authorities urged all residents to evacuate.
Parts of the Zaporizhzhia, Kherson and Kharkiv oblasts have also fallen under Russian occupation.
On April 18, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his address that the Russian invaders had begun the battle for Donbas and had concentrated a significant part of their army for an offensive in eastern Ukraine.
On April 22, Russia announced that during the "second phase" of the war against Ukraine, it plans to completely occupy the Donbas and southern Ukraine, as well as create a land corridor to Crimea.