Latvia Says Russian Tanks Entering Donbas As Australia Warns Of “Large-Scale Invasion” In “24-48 Hours”
The prime minister of Latvia says Russian troops and tanks have now moved into eastern regions of Ukraine which Putin has recognized as “independent”. The NATO member country cited intelligence sources monitoring movements on the ground: “According to the information at my disposal, Putin is moving additional forces and tanks into the occupied Donbas territories,” Latvian Prime Minister Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš told CNN on Wednesday. “By any definition that’s a crossing of a sovereign territory into a neighboring country.”
The Latvian PM confirmed that additional troops continue pouring in to the separatist Donetsk and Luhansk republics: “According to the information at my disposal, this is exactly what we’re seeing,” he underscored.
His words follow Biden the day prior stating that this marks “the beginning of a Russian invasion” – after there’s been some level of confusion over just how the administration is defining “invasion of Ukraine”. Despite strong rhetoric, Biden’s relatively weak and very limited sanctions announced Tuesday do not actually suggest Washington really sees what’s happened so far as in truth an “invasion”.
Widely circulating social media videos – while unconfirmed – seem to also point to additional tanks and troops moving into the breakaway republics. The Kremlin is borrowing from the West’s “humanitarian intervention” playbook and calling these “peacekeeping” forces.
Meanwhile, there are fresh reports Wednesday coming from the United States and “five eyes” intelligence sharing partner Australia. According to CNN the Biden White House is once again warning Kiev of an “imminent” Russian invasion:
The United States has issued a new warning to the Ukrainian government that the latest intelligence points to a full-scale Russian invasion imminently, according to Ukrainian, US and Western officials familiar with the matter.
The new warning was conveyed on Tuesday morning local Kyiv time, according to three of the sources.
But then there’s this crucial and perhaps ironic follow-up line in the report: “A senior Ukrainian official said Ukraine has not verified the intelligence and noted that the United States has issued similar warnings before for assaults that ultimately did not materialize.”
Australia too is warning of an full-scale assault by Russia in the next “24 to 48 hours”:
ASPI’s Peter Jennings says around 24 to 48 hours, we might see a “much larger scale invasion” of Ukraine by Russia after Moscow’s “peacekeeper” troops crossed the border.
“I would say in the next 24 to 48 hours we might actually see a much larger scale invasion, possibly even targeted against the capital Kyiv,” Mr Jennings told Sky News host Chris Smith.
“That would be frankly the most serious military conflict that Europe would have seen since the end of the Second World War.”
My latest—BREAKING EXCLUSIVE w @NaveedAJamali: US warns Ukraine of full-scale Russian invasion within 48 hours
— 𝕋om 𝕆’ℂonnor (@ShaolinTom) February 23, 2022
Indeed the Kremlin is still loudly rejecting the accusations. Additionally top Ukraine officials have confirmed Wednesday “there are no plans” for the evacuation of Kiev or other large Ukrainian cities.
Such time specific warnings have thus far been proven wrong over and over again; however, Moscow’s intentions remain anything but clear and the region is on edge, with the West watching every small development for signs that a full offensive is coming.
Wed, 02/23/2022 – 12:25