Russia-Ukraine crisis: All signs suggest Moscow on brink of invading Kyiv, warns US

New Delhi: Amid growing Russia-Ukraine tensions, the US on Sunday (February 20, 2022) warned that all signs suggest that Moscow is on the brink of invading Kyiv.

While speaking to a news television channel, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “Everything we are seeing suggests that this is dead serious, that we are on the brink of an invasion. We will do everything we can to try to prevent it before it happens.” 

Blinken added that the West was equally prepared if Moscow invades.

“Until the tanks are actually rolling, and the planes are flying, we will use every opportunity and every minute we have to see if diplomacy can still dissuade President (Vladimir) Putin from carrying this forward,” he said.

The US Secretary of State also informed that his planned meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was still set to proceed next week as long as Moscow did not go ahead with the invasion.

US President Joe Biden was also prepared to engage with Putin “at any time, in any format if that can help prevent a war,” Blinken added.

Images show new Russian deployments of armor, troops near Ukraine

Meanwhile, satellite images show multiple new field deployments of armored equipment and troops from Russian garrisons near the border with Ukraine, a private US company said on Sunday, in what its director said indicated increased military readiness.

The images released by US-based Maxar Technologies, which has been tracking the buildup of Russian forces for weeks, could not be independently verified by Zee News.

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“This new activity represents a change in the pattern of the previously observed deployments of battle groups (tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery and support equipment),” Maxar said in a release on Sunday.

Several large deployments of battle groups had been observed around the military garrison at Soloti, Russia, as of Feb. 13 according to satellite images, Maxar said.

Images on Sunday showed most of the combat units and support equipment at Soloti had departed. Extensive vehicle tracks and some convoys of armored equipment were seen throughout the area, the company said.

Some equipment has also been deployed east of nearby Valuyki, Russia, in a field approximately 15 km (9 miles) north of the Ukrainian border. A number of new field deployments are also seen northwest of the Russian city of Belgorod, Maxar said.

The new activity comes as Russia extended military drills in Belarus that were due to end on Sunday, heightening fears among Western powers over an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine.

It is noteworthy that western leaders have been warning of an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine, estimating that more than 1,50,000 Russian troops have encircled the country.

(With agency inputs)

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