- Russian commanders have received orders to invade Ukraine, according to US intelligence reported by CBS News.
- Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday he believed Russia was “moving forward” on an attack.
- President Joe Biden on Friday said he was “convinced” Russia planned to attack.
Russian commanders have received orders to push forward on an invasion of Ukraine, according to US intelligence reported by CBS News on Sunday.
CBS News national security correspondent David Martin on Sunday reported Russian commanders were “doing everything that American commanders would do once they got the order to proceed,” according to US intelligence.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday said US intelligence believes Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to attack Ukraine.
“Everything we’re seeing tells us that the decision we believe President Putin has made to invade is moving forward,” Blinken said during an appearance on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”
“We’ve seen that with provocations created by the Russians or separatist forces over the weekend, false flag operations, now the news just this morning that the ‘exercises’ Russia was engaged in in Belarus with 30,000 Russian forces that was supposed to end this weekend will now continue because of tensions in eastern Ukraine, tensions created by Russia and the separatist forces it backs there,” he added.
Deputy Russian Ambassador to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy said on Sunday said Russia has no plan to invade Ukraine, noting that Moscow has no trust in foreign intelligence.
“We don’t trust the US and British intelligence, they let us down, the whole world, on many occasions. Enough to remember the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq,” he said.
President Joe Biden on Friday said he was “convinced” that Putin had made the decision to invade Ukraine, telling reporters: “As of this moment, I’m convinced he’s made the decision. We have reason to believe that.”
Biden said US intelligence showed an attack was likely in the coming days and said that Russian forces planned to attack Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv.
“We’re calling out Russia’s plans loudly, repeatedly, not because we want a conflict, but because we’re doing everything in our power to remove any reason that Russia may give to justify invading Ukraine and prevent them from moving,” Biden said .
The US has threatened sanctions should Russia plan to push forward on an attack. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday called for preemptive sanctions against Russia, but Blinken defended the US’ decision to wait.
“The purpose of the sanctions in the first instance is to try to deter Russia from going to war. As soon as you trigger them, that deterrent is gone,” Blinken said during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “And until the last minute, as long as we can try to bring a deterrent effect to this, we’re going to try to do that.”
According to CNN, the Ukrainian defense ministry on Saturday reported more than 100 ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine. Blinken on Sunday told CNN that Biden was willing to talk to Putin at “any time” to push forward on diplomatic solutions to avoid an invasion.