Russia continues the threat of a possible invasion of Ukraine
By Kamryn Sobel
Through the end of 2021 and into early 2022, U.S. intelligence officials have warned of a possible invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces. Both NATO and U.S. officials describe the placement and movement of Russian troops as unusual. New satellite images show Russian forces assembling on three sides of Ukraine and amongst these images, thousands of troops gather alongside firepower. Russian President Vladimir Putin has since denied suggestions of the invasion and has claimed that all the movement is for “ordinary exercises.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky disagrees and instead says that “The accumulation of forces at the border is psychological pressure from our neighbors.”
The most recent conflict between the two regions began in the spring of 2014, as Russia planned a strategic invasion of Crimea, located in the eastern parts of Ukraine. This was viewed by Ukraine and democratic nations across the world as an illegal action. In the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, further uprising by Russian separatists, backed by Russia and the Ukrainian military, occurred, continuing conflict. The two countries have since been in a state of war.
However, as of February 12th, 2022, it is not known at this time if Putin has made a decision to invade, as stated by the United States Press Secretary Jen Psaki. In a one-hour call between the United States President Joe Biden and Putin on the 12th, Biden warned the Russian leader of the “severe” costs of invading Ukraine. This came hours after the U.S. ordered its diplomats to leave Kyiv due to fears of invasion.
On February 10th, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley spoke with the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus Maj. Gen. Viktor Gulevich by telephone discussing issues on “regional security related issues of concern.” Although the conversation was kept private, both leaders communicated to reduce the chances of miscalculation and gain perspectives on current European security.
A call between the United States President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also took place in late January, discussing the possibility of an invasion in February. President Joe Biden stated that if Russia decides to invade that it is, “the most consequential thing that has happened in the world since World War II.”
Melanie Moyer '22,