New York (AFP) – February 17, 2022. 22:23
US intelligence expects to target vital sites in Ukraine
- Ground forces and aircraft are preparing to launch an attack on Ukraine in the coming days.
- US Secretary of State: I am here not to start a war, but to avoid its outbreak
- This may be the most dangerous time for peace and security since the end of the Cold War
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken urged Russia to “abandon the path of war”, during a session of the UN Security Council in New York on the Ukraine crisis.
“I am here today not to start a war, but to avoid it,” Blinken said before the Security Council, noting that he had suggested to his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, that they meet “next week in Europe.”
“I have no doubt that the response to my statements here today will be more denial on the part of the Russian government,” he added.
“The Russian government can announce today that Russia will not invade Ukraine,” he added
To say this clearly in front of the whole world, and then to prove it by returning its soldiers, tanks and planes to their barracks and (weapons) stores, and by sending its diplomats to the negotiating table.
“In the days to come, the world will remember this commitment or refusal to do so,” Blinken warned.
“Our information clearly shows” that the Russian forces massed on the Ukrainian border, “including ground forces and aircraft, are preparing to launch an attack on Ukraine in the coming days,” he added.
Blinken presented the scenario that US intelligence expects for the Russian invasion, which includes the launch of “missiles and bombs” on Ukraine
In addition to “electronic attacks” on “vital Ukrainian institutions”, then an incursion of “tanks and soldiers targeting major targets”, including the capital, Kiev.
Blinken likened the current situation to that which preceded Moscow’s invasion of Georgia in 2008, attributing the causes of American concern to the recent bombing of the Donbass region in the east of the country. Ukraine With the ongoing Russian preparations to find a pretext to invade Ukraine.
“This may be the most dangerous time for peace and security since the end of the Cold War,” the senior US official said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson joined the list of warnings of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, accusing Moscow of carrying out “provocations” with the aim of “discrediting” Kiev and justifying a military intervention against it.
“A nursery was bombed, which we consider an operation to discredit the Ukrainians and to create an excuse. (It) is a deceptive provocation to justify a Russian move,” Johnson said after a shell fell on a kindergarten in eastern Ukraine, where the Ukrainian army and pro-Moscow separatists spoke of bombings.
“We are very afraid that we will see more similar things in the coming days,” he added.
On Thursday, the Ukrainian army condemned an attack on the town of Stanista Luganska, which cut off electricity to half of its homes and hit a school with a missile.
For their part, the Luhansk and Donetsk separatists accused the Ukrainian forces of intensifying the bombing with heavy weapons.