By Tom Squitieri
Red Snow News
WASHINGTON — Moscow today formally rejected the U.S. and NATO proposals for security in Europe and a slew of officials on both sides of the Atlantic prepared for what seems to be some type of Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“In the absence of the readiness of the American side to agree on firm, legally binding guarantees to ensure our security from the United States and its allies, Russia will be forced to respond, including by implementing measures of a military-technical nature,” the Russian document says, according to officials.
“Military-technical nature” is not-so-subtle jargon for conventional and cyber warfare.
From the U.N. to the White House to Capitol Hill, all words framed that a Russian invasion is “very high” and that Vlad Putin is “headed towards conflict instead of diplomacy.”
At the Pentagon, here is how some officials see a full-scale invasion occurring. No surprises. At least 170,000 troops, with all the necessary accouterments of war and supplies, are in place, Pentagon officials said.
The Kremlin would create a pretext for invasion – the so-called “false flag” warned by the Pentagon — and attack in the east, beginning in the Donbas’ Luhansk area and then pushing west.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said today (translated from Russian) that “the situation near the borders of Russia can ignite at any moment,” and charged Ukraine’s forces had taken “provocative actions that have only intensified in the last day or several days.” He provided no evidence.
Other suspected Russian ruses: terrorist bombings, drone strikes, and chemical attacks.
Artillery shells hit a town in eastern Ukraine Thursday morning damaging a kindergarten and wounding three adult civilians. Ukraine blamed Russia-backed separatists, while the Kremlin said “the Ukrainian side” had launched the first strike.
“We’re still gathering the details. But you know, we’ve said for some time that the Russians might do something like this in order to justify a military conflict, so we’ll be watching this very closely,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said.
Peskov insisted that Russian forces would go back to bases when military exercises conclude on February 20. “It’s clear the grouping for the [military] exercises was built up over many weeks, and it is of course impossible to withdraw it in a single day. They can’t just take off and fly away . . . it takes time,” Peskov said. “As always unfounded accusations.”
Once Donbas is used as a launching pad, other troops along the eastern border of Ukraine would join, as well as units coming up from Crimea in the south.
First goal: to slice up and take control of Ukraine up to Dnieper River; still uncertain is if the Russians will try to take major urban areas or seek to surround, isolate and bypass.
Then, with Ukrainian forces tied up battling those pincer movements, a second strike would come from Belarus in the north aimed at grabbing Kyiv, the capital, to decapitate the government.
(Photo: USAF RQ-4 Global Hawk flight path today, collecting intelligence — but more distant from deep border regions compared to two weeks ago.)