News ID: 99971
Publish Date : 12 February 2022 - 21:53
Ukraine, Russia Call for Calm; U.S. Says War Could ‘Begin at Any Time’

Do Anglo-Saxons Need a New War?

KYIV, Ukraine (Dispatches) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday that warnings of an imminent Russian attack on his country were stoking “panic” and demanded to see firm proof of a planned invasion.
Zelensky’s comments came a day after U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan claimed that a Russian attack on its western neighbor could “begin at any time.”
Ukrainian leaders have been trying to talk down the prospects of an all-out war because of the damaging effect it was having on the country’s teetering economy and public morale.
“We understand all the risks. We understand that the risks are there,” Zelensky told reports.
“Right now, the people’s biggest enemy is panic in our country. And all this information is only provoking panic and not helping us,” he said.
“If you or anyone has any additional information about a 100-percent chance of an invasion, give it to us,” he added.
The Kremlin said Putin told French President Emmanuel Macron that the invasion claims are “provocative speculation”. The Russian president was also about to hold phone talks U.S. President Joe Biden.
At the heart of the row is the U.S. opposition to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, a vast network of offshore natural gas pipelines that runs under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.
Washington has grown uneasy with the prospect of Europe becoming more energy-dependent on Russia at a time when the U.S. is trying to dominate the world energy market through its ramped-up oil and gas production as part of its “energy war.”
Many analysts believe the U.S. sees Ukraine as an opportunity to wean Europe off Russia’s gas, which explains why Washington is stoking the tensions and pursuing a confrontational policy.
The U.S. State Department began evacuating staffers from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv Saturday, according to a security update emailed to U.S. citizens in the country.
“U.S. citizens should not travel to Ukraine, and those in Ukraine should depart immediately using commercial or other privately available transportation options,” the advisory said.
A senior State Department official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters, said Americans who chose to stay in Ukraine should not expect the U.S. government to come to their rescue in the run-up to a potential Russian attack. He urged them to leave the country while commercial flights and rail transport were still functioning.
“We do a great deal to provide support for our fellow citizens, but, as you know, there are real limits to what we are able to do in a war zone,” the official said.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon said it was pulling out 160 members of the Florida National Guard that have been on a training mission in Western Ukraine. The troops, which have been in Ukraine since late November, will be repositioned elsewhere in Europe.
A British junior defense minister also said that British military trainers in Ukraine would leave over the weekend. “There will be no British troops in Ukraine if there is any conflict with Russia,” James Heappey told Sky News.
The move was one of a number of actions taken by Western governments to prepare for the possibility of what they claim as major conflict. A growing number of U.S. allies have told their citizens to get out Ukraine immediately. Both the United States and Britain began pulling back small groups of military personnel from Ukraine.
The German leader is due to travel to Kyiv on Monday and then visit Putin as part of Europe’s efforts to keep lines of communication open with Moscow.
Russia has pushed back fiercely against the warnings by the Biden administration that Moscow is on the verge of attack, accusing the West of hysteria and spreading disinformation even.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the U.S. of seeking to provoke conflict in Ukraine and blamed Washington of waging a “propaganda campaign” against Moscow in a phone call with his U.S. counterpart Antony Blinken.
Blinken warned Russia that invading Ukraine “would result in a resolute, massive, and united Transatlantic response,” according to the State Department.
Lavrov accused Washington of pursuing “provocative goals” and pushing its allies in Kyiv to resolve its crisis in the contested Donbass territory with force, according to Russia’s foreign ministry.
Russian ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, also rejected U.S. warnings that Moscow is planning to invade Ukraine, and accused the U.S. of spreading “alarmism” without any evidence.

The statements in Washington show the U.S. has intensified its “propaganda campaign against our country”, and wants to create the impression that aggression is “inevitable”, he added.
Russia confirmed media reports that it was pulling its own diplomatic staff from Ukraine, citing “possible provocations by the Kyiv regime and third countries.”
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the move was in response to other governments’ deciding to draw down their diplomatic corps and urging their citizens to leave.
“We conclude that our American and British colleagues apparently know about some military actions being prepared in Ukraine,” she said, according to a statement by the ministry.
“The hysteria of the White House is more revealing than ever. The Anglo-Saxons need a war. At any price,” Zakharova separately wrote on Telegram.
Ukraine also urged its citizens to keep calm and avoid panicking.
“At the moment, it is critically important to remain calm, to consolidate inside the country, to avoid destabilizing actions and those that sow panic,” its foreign ministry said in a statement.
“The armed force of Ukraine are constantly monitoring the situation and are ready to rebuff any encroachment on its territorial integrity and sovereignty.”
White House national security adviser Sullivan claimed Friday that there was a “very distinct possibility” that Russia would invade Ukraine in a “reasonably swift time frame” and urged all U.S. citizens there to leave immediately. Sullivan could not confirm that Russian President Vladimir Putin had made a final decision to attack, but he said that military action could begin “any day.”
In response to Sullivan’s briefing, Russian Deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy tweeted: “Our troops are still on our territory and I wonder if the U.S. will invade #Ukraine itself — someone has to, after such a panic campaign.”
U.S. officials confirmed Friday that an additional 3,000 troops from the 82nd Airborne Division would be sent to Poland, adding to the 1,700 troops already dispatched to that country.
Weeks of tensions have seen Russia deploy more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine. Moscow is demanding binding security guarantees from the West that includes a pledge to roll NATO forces out of eastern Europe and to never expand into Ukraine.
More than 30 ships from the Russian Black Sea fleet started training exercises near the Crimean Peninsula as part of wider navy drills, the RIA news agency reported Saturday.