We don’t see this’: Danilov comments on Blinken’s statement about Russia’s readiness to invade Ukraine
The Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, Oleksiy Danilov said he saw no sign of Russia’s readiness to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine during a talk show aired on the Ukrainian television channel 1+1 on Feb. 17.
He added that currently the Ukrainian government has only observed provocations from the side of Russia.
“If we are talking about a full-scale action against our country, we don’t see this. What do we see today? We see provocations from the Russian Federation, which they have constantly committed, but today (Feb. 17) there was a daring and massive provocation,” Danilov said.
Earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Russia might launch a new attack on Ukraine in the coming days.
According to Blinken, Russia plans to manufacture a pretext for its attack: it could be a fabricated “terrorist” bombing on its own territory, an invented discovery of a “mass grave”, a staged drone strike against civilians or a fake, or even real attack using chemical weapons.
The Kremlin said, in response to these statements, that “unfortunately, tensions continue to escalate.”
On Feb. 15, Russia announced that units of Western and Southern Military Districts would begin returning to their bases. It also claimed that units of the Southern Military Districts would return to their bases following the completion of exercises in occupied Crimea.
However, multiple experts and U.S. and U.K. intelligence agencies have since said that no such evidence of a withdrawal has been seen.
Russia has been deploying troops to the Ukrainian borders since the end of October 2021. On Feb. 16, CNN, citing Ukrainian intelligence, reported that there were more than 148,000 Russian forces on the Ukrainian border, including more than 126,000 ground troops – but not enough for a full-scale invasion.
The Russian Federation has officially denied that it plans to carry out a large-scale invasion of Ukraine, but it continues to provide arms and orders to its proxy forces in the Donbas.
On Feb. 11, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Russia had sent additional forces to the Ukrainian border and might launch an invasion at any time, including during the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has again said that his country is ready to defend itself against a Russian invasion, regardless of the date.
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