Vladimir Putin has moved stockpiles of blood and medical supplies to Russian troops positioned on the Ukrainian border, in a move U.S. President Joe Biden warned was in preparation for ‘a massive military attack’ against Ukraine.
A huge military convoy of more than 100 military trucks with soldiers was also seen heading towards the Ukrainian border where 190,000 Russian troops are already massed, raising fears Putin is about to stage a land-grab in eastern Ukraine. Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, is closest to that border and has long been suspected as a possible target in a Russian invasion, according to western analysts.
Putin has already moved more than 10,000 Russian troops into Ukraine’s breakaway eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk after he recognized them as independent. Some 6,000 troops were sent to Donetsk, 5,000 to Luhansk, and 1,500 to the city of Horlivka, a source with links to Ukrainian intelligence said.
Biden said it defies logic to think Putin has taken such extensive military preparations, including putting 190,000 Russian troops on the border and moving blood supplies to those areas, for reasons other than invading Ukraine. ‘This is the beginning of a Russian invasion.
You don’t need blood unless you’re planning to start a war,’ the U.S President declared. In a statement published in the influential Russian newspaper Pravda, Foreign Defense Minister Sergey Lavrov said: “There is no ‘Russian invasion’ of Ukraine, which the United States and its allies have been declaring at the official level since last fall, and it is not planned.”
“Therefore, the statements about ‘Russia’s responsibility for the escalation’ can only be regarded as part of the pressure to devalue Russia’s proposals for security guarantees,” Lavrov continued. However, even with these comments, as well as continued assurance from Russian President Vladimir Putin that an invasion is not imminent, U.S. officials have expressed their doubts on the validity of these statements.