Biden ‘Convinced’ Putin has Decided to Invade Ukraine
i24 News – Russia’s President Vladimir Putin decided to invade Ukraine within days, United States President Joe Biden said Friday after Moscow-backed separatists told civilians to evacuate breakaway regions, a move the West fears is a pretext for an attack.
Warning sirens blared in Donetsk and Luhansk of Ukraine on Friday after rebel leaders there announced the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people to Russia.
“We have reason to believe the Russian forces are planning to and intend to attack Ukraine in the coming week, in the coming days,” Biden told reporters, adding that Kyiv would be a target.
“As of this moment, I am convinced that he has made the decision.”
Russia wants to stop Kyiv from joining NATO and accuses the West of hysteria, saying it has no plans to invade while the US and allies are adamant that Moscow’s military build-up continues.
Ukraine’s military intelligence on Friday said Russian special forces planted explosives at social infrastructure facilities in Donetsk and urged residents to stay home.
Russian news agencies later reported that two explosions hit Luhansk, one of the main cities of Ukraine’s breakaway People’s Republic of Luhansk
Earlier, separatist leaders in Donetsk and Luhansk announced the evacuations and accused Ukraine of preparing to attack both regions soon, a claim denied by Kyiv.
Many families in the mostly Russian-speaking area have already been granted Russian citizenship.
Russia has released footage to show it is withdrawing troops from its border with Ukraine, but the US believes there has been an increase of up to 90,000 troops since the end of January.