Cold War Quotables
How real are claims of 'imminent' Russian invasion?
Last month, President Biden warned Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that Russia would invade when the ground froze this month and Russian forces would attack Ukrainian territory from north of Kyiv.
US officials warned that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could cause as many as 50,000 civilian deaths. They also estimated that an attack could see the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, fall within days and prompt a refugee crisis in Europe as millions of people flee.
The British Foreign also warned of an imminent Russian-backed plot to install a pro-Moscow government in Kyiv. A warning that comes with scant detail.
Ukrainian officials sharply criticized the Biden administration for its ominous warnings saying they had needlessly spread alarm, and yesterday, Biden’s National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan said the Russian build-up on the Ukrainian border was only at 70% of the strength necessary to invade.
US officials also claim that Moscow is planning to release a false-flag graphic video showing an attack on Russian territory or against Russian-speaking people in eastern Ukraine in order to justify an invasion. This claim prompted skepticism among reporters.
Russia has denied any plans to attack its neighbor but is urging the U.S. and its allies to bar Ukraine and other ex-Soviet nations from joining NATO, halt weapons deployments there and roll back NATO forces from Eastern Europe. Washington and NATO have rejected the demands.
China and Russia on the opening day of the Winter Olympics declared a "no limits" partnership, in a statement saying that China explicitly backs Russia to “oppose further enlargement of NATO,” a reference to Ukraine’s efforts to join the cold-war alliance.
But according to Alexander Gabuev, a senior fellow with the Carnegie Moscow Center, the joint statement runs a whopping 5,364 words — but none of those words is “Ukraine.” Analysts say the omission probably reflects China’s unwillingness to support a Russian invasion of its neighbor to the west. “China doesn’t want to throw its weight to say it supports Russia’s actions on Ukraine, because it doesn’t,” said Gabuev.
A YouGov poll of U.S. citizens conducted from Jan. 24 to Jan. 26 found only a third of respondents favored the United States arming Ukrainian forces if Russia invaded the country. Just 11 percent said they would support sending U.S. troops to Ukraine to fight Russian forces. (Four percent said they would back a direct American attack on Russia.)
And lest there be any misunderstanding, Mr. Biden has repeatedly made clear that he has no intention of sending U.S. troops to Ukraine. Mr. Biden was reflecting a political reality in war-wary Washington, where even many reliably hawkish voices in both parties show no appetite for seeing U.S. troops fight and potentially die for Ukraine. — New York Times
National security adviser Jake Sullivan
Russia could invade Ukraine “any day,” launching a conflict that would come at an “enormous human cost.” But then claimed that Russia has assembled 70% of the military firepower it likely intends to have in place by mid-month to give President Vladimir Putin the option of launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. — AP
Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations
As U.S. predicts Russia could seize Kyiv in days, Moscow calls assessment scaremongering. “Madness and scaremongering continue… what if we would say that US could seize London in a week and cause 300K civilian deaths?” — Tweeted Sunday
Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday that a diplomatic solution was more likely than war.“ An honest assessment of the situation suggests that the chance of finding a diplomatic solution for de-escalation is still substantially higher than the threat of further escalation.” — Washington Post
China/Russia Joint Statement
“The parties oppose the further expansion of NATO and call on the North Atlantic Alliance to abandon the ideological approaches of the Cold War era,” the document said, urging respect for the “sovereignty, security and interests of other countries”. — Al Jazeera
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
It’s shameful how both parties fight tooth + nail to defend their ability to pump endless public money into militarization. From tanks in police depts to corrupt military contracts, funding this violence is bipartisan + non-controversial, yet healthcare + housing isn’t. It’s BS. — Twitter
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