Blinken Raises Alarm, Tells UN Russia’s Planning To Invade Ukraine In ‘Coming Days’

Blinken Raises Alarm, Tells UN Russia’s Planning To Invade Ukraine In ‘Coming Days’

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with the United Nations Security Council on Thursday concerning how Washington believes that Russia could be seeking to invade Ukraine, warning that Moscow was actually preparing to take military action in the “coming days.”

Blinken then accused Russia of trying to manufacture a pretext for an attack on Ukraine which might include a “fake, even a real, attack using chemical weapons,” before going on to say, “Russia may describe this event as an ethnic cleansing or a genocide.”

“The Russian government can announce today, with no qualification, equivocation or deflection, that Russia will not invade Ukraine. State it clearly. State it plainly to the world, and then demonstrate it by sending your troops, your tanks, the planes back to their barracks and hangars and sending your diplomats to the negotiating table,” Blinken told the U.N.

via Newsmax:

Blinken made an appearance at a meeting of the 15-member council on the Minsk agreements, which aim to end an 8-year-long conflict between the Ukrainian army and Russian-backed separatists in the east of the country.

The meeting came amid high tensions after the United States accused Russia of deploying some 150,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders in recent weeks. Russia has said it has no plans to invade Ukraine and accuses the West of hysteria.

Blinken said U.S. information indicated that Russian forces “are preparing to launch an attack against Ukraine in the coming days.” He said he has asked Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to meet in Europe next week.

Speaking before Blinken, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin appealed to council members not to turn the meeting “into a circus” by presenting a “baseless accusation saying that Russia allegedly was going to attack Ukraine.”

“I think we’ve had enough speculation on that,” Vershinin remarked. “We have a long ago clarified everything and explained everything.”

A senior U.S. administration official had issued a warning earlier on Thursday stating that Russia could end up using the Security Council meeting as part of a bid to “establish a pretext for a potential invasion” after Russia started to circulate a document to council members that alleged war crimes had been committed in southeastern Ukraine.

The U.S. official then rejected these claims as “categorically false.”

Making a reference to ethnic Russians who are living in Ukraine, Vershinin went on to say they are “still presented as foreigners in their own country,” and are targeted by the Ukrainian military. He then said that council members would be “horrified” by the document Russia shared with them.

“Earlier on Thursday, Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian government forces traded accusations of firing shells across the ceasefire line in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, in what Kyiv said appeared to be a ‘provocation,'” the report said.

“Yaşar Halit Çevik, chief monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, told the Security Council that while some 500 explosions had been recorded overnight, ‘the tension may seem to be easing,'” the report continued.

The U.N. Security Council has now met dozens of time to talk about the crisis in Ukraine ever since Russia annexed the Crimea region back in 2014. However, the body cannot take any sort of action because Russia has a veto-power along with Britain, France, China, and the United States.