The headlines read: A “Full-Scale Russian Invasion Within 48 Hours.” Remarkably, Newsweek, The Daily Wire, Fox, MSN, CBS, BBC, Aljazeera, and more are declaring what would usually be considered top-secret details. If Russia does invade Ukraine, it will be among the most telegraphed military actions in history.
The information highway for this story takes some questionable turns at times. On Wednesday, Newsweek reported that American officials said the Biden administration told Ukrainian officials that intelligence indicates Russia will invade Ukraine in the next 48 hours.
Attempting to add credibility to the report, Newsweek announced the unnamed U.S. official making the claims had “direct knowledge” of important communiques between high-ranking national leaders.
In a related report, aviation officials claim Russia violated Ukrainian airspace early Wednesday. Officials allege a reconnaissance aircraft flew “for a short period over Ukraine.”
A Newsweek source added that the probable nighttime Russian invasion into Ukraine would include an assault from pro-Russian militia in the Donbas region and a move on “the capital Kyiv from the northern border with Belarus.”
Adding to the sense of alarm, on Tuesday, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry department urged its citizens not to travel to Russia and warned Ukrainians living in Russia to leave immediately.
CNBC reported the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry stated:
“The intensification of Russian aggression against Ukraine … may lead to significant restrictions on the provision of consular assistance in the Russian Federation. We emphasize that ignoring these recommendations will significantly complicate ensuring proper protection of Ukrainian citizens in the Russian Federation.”
The Ukrainian government responded Russia’s posturing by recalling ambassadors and imposing financial sanctions on 351 Russian lawmakers.
Russia stated it would withdraw “some troops” currently stationed along the Ukrainian border and that it is “always open” to diplomacy. Still, the light of hope for a peaceful solution is quickly fading for many.
Western powers are increasing pressure in an attempt to stave off an invasion. The United States has threatened sanctions, Germany has cancelled a vital and lucrative gas pipeline agreement, and, according to the New York Post, American troops are prepared to support “NATO’s eastern flank bordering Russia.”
Ukraine is also reporting cyber attacks. On Wednesday, NetBlocks tweeted that many websites were down:
Confirmed: # Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Security Service of Ukraine and Cabinet of Ministers websites have just been impacted by network disruptions; the incident appears consistent with recent DDOS attacks.
Lukas I. Alpert, an MSN correspondent in Moscow, asserts that a Russian incursion into Ukraine is a financial and energy-driven move. His MSN report notes that “Russia supplies 40% of Europe’s heating-fuel supplies — namely, natural gas.”
“To get the fuel there,” Alpert asserts, “Russia relies mostly on two aging pipeline networks, one of which runs through Belarus and the other through Ukraine. For this, Russia pays Ukraine around $2 billion a year in transit fees.”
Alpert adds: “Russia is a petrostate and relies on oil and natural-gas sales for about 60% of its export revenue and 40% of its total budget expenditures. [The state views] any crimp on Russia’s ability to access the European market is a threat to its economic security.”
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