The US President Joe Biden has said he believes there is a “high risk” of a Russian attack against Ukraine within the next “several days.”
Biden said that there are no signs of Russia removing any of their forces from Ukrainian border and added that the US has “reason to believe” that Russia is “engaged in a false flag operation to have an excuse to go in.”
Biden told reporters at the White House on Thursday that there is “every indication that they [Russia] are prepared to go into Ukraine.”
Biden added that Russia has “not moved any of their troops out. They have moved more troops in.”
Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State told the United Nations (UN) Security Council meeting in New York that a Russian invasion will happen in “coming days.”
Blinken said the Minsk agreements “remain the basis” of achieving peace in Ukraine, but this is now “a moment of peril” for millions of people in the region.
He says Russia is preparing an invasion “in the coming days” and that there is no evidence it is pulling out any troops, as has been claimed.
Blinken reiterated concerns that Russia is formulating a “false flag operation” to give it a reason to invade.
He warned that the US has evidence Russia will target specific groups of Ukrainians and thee capital, Kyiv, will be one of the targets, he told the UN Security Council.
The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) released a graphic on Thursday showing the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s possible “axis of invasion” into Ukraine.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and allies have accused the Kremlin of attempting to stage a “false flag operation” as a “pretext” to launch a full scale invasion into Ukraine.
This comes as Russian occupation forces had opened fire on the village of Luhansk on Thursday and artillery shelling was heard near Donetsk airport.
Also the village of Elenovka in Donetsk province has been shelled, both are areas controlled by Russian-backed rebels.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “I wish I could give everybody better news about this, but I have to tell you that the picture is continuing to be very grim.
“Today, as I’m sure you’ve already picked up, a kindergarten was shelled in what we are taking to be – well, we know – was a false flag operation designed to discredit the Ukrainians, designed to create a pretext, a spurious provocation for Russian action.
“We fear very much that that is the kind of thing we will see more of over the next few days.
“What we are doing is making that we do everything to strengthen the package of sanctions that will follow immediately should there be a Russian invasion.”
Johnson added, “We are strengthening the eastern frontier of NATO and I’ll be going to the European Security Conference in Munich a little bit later on over the weekend to talk about what we are going to do to unify the West.”
The NATO chief accused the Kremlin of attempting to conduct “false flag operations” following reports that eastern Ukraine was struck with heavy shelling in the Donbass region which also hit a Kindergarten.
Stoltenberg said, “We cannot accept a return to the age of spheres of influence where big powers bully, intimidate or dictate to others.”
There is now an estimated 170,000 Russian troops with heavy armament on the three sides of Ukraine and Stoltenberg warned an invasion could be launched “with very little or no warning.”