US expects Russia to invade Ukraine next week -Report

By Samuel Chamberlain.

Video of the American Government Accusing Russia on the looming Ukraine further invasion

US officials believe Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to invade Ukraine and an attas soon as next week, as National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told Americans still in the Eastern European nation to get out within “24 to 48 hours.”

PBS foreign affairs correspondent Nick Schifrin tweeted that US officials believe Putin has communicated an invasion order to the Russian military and that Washington expects a “horrific, bloody” campaign.

According to the report, a Russian attack would be preceded by two days of aerial bombardment and electronic warfare, followed by a ground assault with the potential goal of overthrowing the Kiev government led by President Volodymyr Zelensky.


Russia has massed more than 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s borders.
Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP, File
Members of the national guard of Ukraine take part in tactical and special exercises near Shostka, Ukraine, on Feb. 9, 2022.

At the White House, Sullivan told reporters that the PBS report “does not accurately capture what the US government’s view is today,” but did not issue a full-fledged denial.

“Our view is that we do not believe he [Putin] has made any kind of final decision, or we don’t know that he has made any final decision, and we have not communicated that to anybody,” he said.

Moments earlier, Sullivan laid out a scenario consistent with the PBS report before urging Americans still in Ukraine to leave “as soon as possible, and in any event in the next 24 to 48 hours” and warning that “there is no prospect of a US military evacuation in the event of a Russian invasion.”
Ukrainian servicemen of the 80th Separate Airborne Assault Brigade take part in an exercise near Lviv, Ukraine, on Feb. 11, 2022.

“If a Russian attack on Ukraine proceeds, it is likely to begin with aerial bombing and missile attacks that could obviously kill civilians without regard to their nationality,” he said. “Subsequent ground invasion would involve the onslaught of a massive force … No one would be able to count on air or rail or road departures once military action got underway.”

“The risk is now high enough, and the threat is immediate enough, that prudence demands that it is the time to leave now, while commercial options and commercial rail and air service exist, and while the roads are open,” Sullivan went on. 

“The president will not be putting the lives of our men and women in uniform at risk by sending them into a war zone to rescue people who could have left now but chose not to,” he warned. “So we’re asking people to make the responsible choice.”
Russian and Belarusian servicemen take part in the joint operational exercise at a firing range in the Brest region of Belarus on Feb. 11, 2022.
The PBS report emerged following a late-morning call between Biden and other key transatlantic leaders, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron of France, Germany Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Following that meeting, CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour tweeted: “Official from a NATO ally tells me Pres Biden told them today the US does believe Vladimir Putin has decided to attack Ukraine. Next week.”

The British government issued its own readout of the call, reporting that Johnson had told his counterparts that “he feared for the security of Europe in the current circumstances.”

Shortly before Sullivan took to the White House podium, the British government announced that it was advising UK citizens against traveling to Ukraine and insisting those in the country “leave now by commercial means.”
US troops arrive at the military airbase of Mihail Kogalniceanu, Romania, near the Black Sea on Feb. 11, 2022.
Friday afternoon, the Pentagon confirmed it was sending 3,000 additional soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Infantry Brigade Combat Team to Poland by order of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. The new batch of troops would join 1,700 other soldiers who were deployed to the NATO ally last week. 

A senior defense official said the new forces would depart Fort Bragg, NC over the next couple of days and were expected to be in place by early next week. 

“These additional deployments are temporary in nature, meant to supplement for a brief time the more than 80,000 U.S. troops already in Europe on rotational and permanent orders,” the official said.

Meanwhile, the Kyiv Post newspaper reported Friday that the US was evacuating all its staff from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.

The paper reported that a mission member told the outlet he had received orders to leave the country by Tuesday.

Western officials believe Russia has between 100,000 and 140,000 troops massed along its western border with Ukraine, with thousands more forces taking part in joint military exercises in Belarus. 

A tank drives during a joint military exercise of the armed forces of Russia and Belarus, at the Brestsky training ground in Belarus on Feb. 11, 2022.

Earlier Friday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters that “we continue to see very troubling signs of Russian escalation, including new forces arriving at the Ukrainian border.

“And as we’ve said before, we’re in a window when an invasion could begin at any time,” Blinken added. “And to be clear, that includes during the Olympics.”

President Biden has repeatedly warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that his country would face “severe” sanctions if an invasion of Ukraine took place. 

The president did not stop to take questions from reporters as he departed the White House for a weekend at Camp David. 

The White House confirmed Friday evening that Biden and Putin would speak by phone Saturday after the Russian government initially offered a call to take place Monday.