The US issued a dramatic warning about Ukraine on Friday. The warning states that a Russian invasion will begin anytime soon and this could have civilians caught in the aerial bombing. The USA even advised US citizens to leave within 48 hours.
The News: An attack by Russia’s more than 100,000 troops stationed near Ukraine “could happen any day now,” White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters in Washington.
- Sullivan dismissed speculation that the Kremlin would never start the crisis while the Beijing Olympics were still taking place in close Russian ally China, saying that such an attack “could occur” before the Games ended on February 20.
What is happening: An imminent attack is “a very, very distinct possibility,” according to Sullivan.
- While emphasizing that it was not yet clear whether President Vladimir Putin had made a decision, saying “we can’t predict the exact determination,” Sullivan made it clear that the US was bracing for the worst, including a “rapid assault” on Kyiv.
What are they saying: “If Russia launches an attack on Ukraine, it will almost certainly begin with aerial bombing and missile attacks that will undoubtedly kill civilians,” Sullivan said. “Any American who is in Ukraine should leave as soon as possible, preferably within the next 24 to 48 hours.”
- Sullivan spoke shortly after Biden and six European leaders, including NATO and European Union leaders, met to discuss the worst crisis between the West and Russia since the Cold War’s end.
- According to a US official, Biden will speak with Putin on Saturday, while the French government announced that President Emmanuel Macron will also call the Russian leader on Saturday.
A number of countries have joined the exodus of diplomats and citizens from Ukraine, highlighting the bleak outlook, while oil prices have risen and US equities have fallen.