Documents suggest that the country’s envoy to the United Nations would criticize Ukraine and Western nations on Thursday over the fate of Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine.
Antony Blinken is to make a rare appearance before the United Nations Security Council in an effort by the United States to refute what it considers Russian disinformation that could provide an excuse for a new Ukraine conflict.
As reported by the Journal, Russian documents claim that the “Russian-speaking population of Donbas” has been “genocided.”
There is a significant likelihood that Russia will invade Ukraine within days, President Biden stated on Thursday. He also said Russia hasn’t pulled its troops out of Ukraine.
According to him, “every indicator we have is that they’re ready to go into Ukraine and attack Ukraine.” Within the next few days, I believe it will happen.
Phone contact to Russian President Vladimir Putin was also ruled out by President Joe Biden.
On Thursday, pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian authorities exchanged accusations of cease-fire violations along the tense front line that separates the two sides, while Western diplomats warned Moscow to continue to stockpile soldiers along the border of its smaller neighbor.
Grenades and mortars have been fired into the territory of two separatist Russian-backed and armed statelets in eastern Ukraine, known as the Luhansky Republic and the Donetskiy People’s Republic.
Kyiv-controlled regions of Luhansk, according to the Ukrainian government, were shelled continuously on Thursday morning. Two instructors were hurt in a direct hit on a kindergarten in Stanytsia Luhanska, according to the military.
A house in the village of Vrubivka was also demolished and a high school courtyard was hit by shelling. Civilian and military authorities in the area reported no immediate reports of casualties.
Despite a cease-fire agreed a year later, such exchanges have occurred often since the conflict in Donbas began in 2014 and have periodically exploded into larger-scale violence. However, the current stalemate between Russia and the West over Ukraine has increased the risk of their being used as leverage.
As a prelude to an invasion, Russia has deployed 130,000 heavily-armed troops, virtually encircling Ukraine on three of its borders.
Some of Russia’s forces have been pulled back and Moscow has suggested it may be ready for talks with the West to ease the crisis and address the security threats that it claims Western powers are posing. In reality, though, according to Western authorities, Russia has maintained its military presence in the vicinity of Ukraine.
As a pretext for a move into eastern Ukraine, Russia has been warned by officials in Kyiv and the West.
Ben Wallace, the United Kingdom’s defense secretary, warned during a NATO summit in Brussels on Thursday that he expects Russia to use such a pretext in the future.
In the coming days, he expects to see more “fake stories” like the ones we’ve already seen.
It was Russia’s goal to isolate Luhansk and Donetsk from Ukrainian control in 2014 when they started a separatist conflict and sent armed forces to do so.
Recently, Moscow has cited what it claims is Ukraine’s military operations near Donbas as an expanding risk.
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for the Kremlin, said Thursday that “provocative” acts by the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, had increased in recent days, according to Russian state news agency TASS. He went on to say that the Ukrainian military was ready to launch an offensive.
That the conflict in Donbas is escalating was one of his many takeaways. It’s possible that Russia’s border issue could erupt at any time.
It has been suggested by Western officials that Russia may attempt to portray any incursion as a humanitarian effort to help Russian-speaking residents of the region by citing Ukrainian military activity in the Donbas.
In a statement on the Donetsk territory’s official website, Donetsk officials said that “the situation on the line of contact quickly intensified.” It appears that the opponent is attempting to start a war of attrition.
There is no evidence to support the notion that Russia is looking for an excuse to invade. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that attempts to place sole responsibility for the situation in Ukraine on Russia would fail.
As for negotiations with Ukraine, he said, “there are no preparations for that.”
“We have frequently warned that the excessive buildup of Ukrainian armed personnel in the near proximity of the demarcation line might pose a serious hazard,” he declared. “We’re keeping an eye on everything. “We’ll have to wait and see what happens.”
The occupied Donbas region shelled the Ukrainian settlement of Stanytsia Luhanska with heavy weapons. According to Ukrainian military reports, civil infrastructure was damaged.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba referred to the 2015 Minsk deal, which stopped major conflict in the Donbas when he called on “all partners” to denounce Russia’s “serious” violation of the agreement.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky met with military and security forces in Donetsk on Wednesday night. Ukraine’s military has been put on high alert and more ammunition has been handed to troops on the front lines, according to official statements.
Mr. Zelensky declared in Mariupol that “we are not frightened of any warnings, we are not afraid of any opponents, we are not fearful of any deadlines” in a transcript issued by his office. In March and April, in September and December, we shall defend ourselves.” In the eight years since the battle began, we’ve grown eight times stronger.”
According to Russian officials, the Kremlin has no plans to attack Ukraine, and in the past several days, Moscow has published footage of tanks and armored personnel carriers leaving Crimea and other regions. The Russian military buildup, on the other hand, has been reported by Western officials.
Pro-Russian forces launched a projectile into a kindergarten in Stanytsia Luhanska on Thursday morning, Ukraine’s military reported. Photographs captured the devastation of an elephant-and-parrot mural and many soccer balls scattered across the floor as well as a big hole in a brick wall.
The sole daily crossing point between the Russian-occupied regions and the rest of Ukraine is in Stanytsia Luhanska, which is only over a bridge from Luhansk, the capital of one of the two Russia-controlled statelets.
Every day, about 3,000 individuals cross the border to see loved ones in government-controlled areas or to collect Ukrainian pensions and medical services not available in Russian-controlled areas, such as Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines.
Vladimir Putin has been asked to recognize the two separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as sovereign states by Russian parliamentarians on Tuesday.
“It is apparent in this environment that the vast majority of people in our nation feel compassion for people in Donetsk, support them, and hope that the situation will improve rapidly,” Mr. Putin said at a press conference on Tuesday, according to the New York Times.
This gives Putin a bargaining advantage in his meetings with Western leaders, as recognizing the rebel territory in Donbas keeps pressure on Kyiv.
The Russian envoy to the United Nations is likely to advocate for more autonomy for Russian-speaking rebels in the region at the United Nations Security Council on Thursday.