Ukraine was preparing for war under the pretext of "routine military exercises" similar to Russian and Belarusian exercises before the invasion, said Ukrainian Defense Minister, Oleksiy Reznikov, in an interview with British magazine The Economist on June 12.
“This was the excuse that allowed us to secretly move our military units out from their permanent bases,” said Reznikov.
“When the strikes came in, our guys were not all together in one place, but were ready with weapons, munitions, and scattered around the country.”
Ukrainian authorities hid air defense systems and attack aircraft, replacing them with mock-ups. They also passed a new law regarding Territorial Defense units in order to arm about 100,000 civilians in three days.
Reznikov spokes about President Volodymyr Zelensky’s decision to stay in Kyiv.
“Everyone expected the president to run away and form a government in exile,” the Defense Minister noted.
“But Zelensky had his own script.”
US President Joe Biden said that US intelligence tried to warn Ukraine of the imminent danger of a Russian invasion, but Zelensky "didn't want to hear about it."
Biden admitted that the possibility of a full-scale Russian invasion seemed far-fetched: "I understand why they didn't want to hear it."
Zelensky spokesperson Serhiy Nikiforov, in a commentary to Ukrainian news outlet LIGA.net, responded to Biden's words by saying that Zelensky had asked for preventive sanctions against Russia before the full-scale invasion, but Western partners "didn’t want to hear it."