Photo Credit: ForeignPolicy.com By Benjamin Flowers:CBS reports that the United States has intelligence confirming that Russian President Vladimir Putin has given the order for his troops to invade Ukraine.
Appearing on the CBS show “Face the Nation” Secretary of State Antony Blinken, said that Russian commanders have been ordered to invade Ukraine and they are complying with strategic actions in their assigned sectors of what will be the battlefield.
Blinken noted that Russia had 30,000 troops in Belarus which borders Ukraine, doing military drills that were supposed to end this weekend, but that those drills have been “extended” due to the tensions in eastern Ukraine. Russia has also amassed 150,000 troops, warplanes, and equipment on Ukraine’s three sides, further leaning into the notion that it is preparing to invade.
Blinken said that US President Joe Biden has warned Russia that it will impose sanctions if the invasion occurs, however, he stressed that the major push at this time is diplomacy in an effort to prevent war.
“My job as a diplomat is to leave absolutely no stone unturned and see if we can prevent war, and if there’s anything I can do to do that, I’m going to do it,” Blinken said. “President Biden has made very clear that he’s prepared to meet President Putin at any time in any format if that can help prevent a war. Even if the dye is cast, until it’s settled until we know that the tanks are rolling, the planes are flying, and the aggression has fully begin, we’re going to do everything we can to prevent it but we’re prepared either way.”
President Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky have both indicated on several occasions that they would meet with Putin at a time and in a format of his choosing, to hold talks aimed at preventing war.
Last week the U.S. Germany and Austria, among other countries, urged their citizens to leave Ukraine, given the imminent threat of invasion.