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US Warns of Invasion ‘Any Day,’ Europeans Grow Skeptical – News Roundup 2/7/2022

by | Feb 6, 2022

US Warns of Invasion ‘Any Day,’ Europeans Grow Skeptical – News Roundup 2/7/2022

by | Feb 6, 2022

News Roundup from The Libertarian Institute by Kyle Anzalone

The Biden Administration is pressing the idea that Russia will invade Ukraine within the next two months, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan asserting that an attack could now come “any day.” The statement came shortly after the State Department announced that US intelligence believes Russia is preparing a video of a fake attack to create a pretext for war. 

The Washington Post amplified the White House’s warning, citing several unnamed sources who said the US military and intelligence community believes Russia has 70% of its troops in place for President Vladimir Putin to exercise his maximum option. Should Moscow opt for a full-scale invasion, the assessment says, it will result in 50,000 civilian casualties, up to 25,000 military casualties, and 5 million refugees. 

The assault is expected to come “after the ground freezes” sometime in mid-February and the window will remain open until late-March, sources told the Post. 

Despite the anticipated humanitarian toll, Sullivan indicated that the Biden administration believes arming and training Ukrainians is working and could present an opportunity to land a blow on Russia. “If war breaks out, it will come at an enormous human cost to Ukraine, but we believe that based on our preparations and our response, it will come at a strategic cost to Russia as well,” he said.

However, the Europeans do not seem to match the Americans’ more bellicose attitude, with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba dismissing US forecasts of imminent war as “apocalyptic predictions.” That followed similar remarks from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who said Washington’s breathless rhetoric was creating a crisis and that he doesn’t believe the threat of a Russian invasion has increased since last April.  

As Kyiv continues to downplay Biden’s warnings, French President Emmanuel Macron recently announced that he will travel to Moscow for talks with Putin. In an interview with Journal du Dimanche, Macron also rejected the US narrative, arguing “The geopolitical objective of Russia today is clearly not Ukraine, but to clarify the rules of cohabitation with NATO and the EU.”

German leaders have also been reluctant to go along with the US bluster. Though Chancellor Olaf Scholz – who’s also set to visit Moscow later this month – has warned that Russia would pay a “high price” for any attack on Ukraine, Berlin has refused to follow Washington’s suit and supply lethal aid to the country and even blocked fellow NATO member Estonia from doing the same.

Politicians aren’t the only ones voicing skepticism in the threat, however, with Russian markets beginning to rebound after months of decline as the Financial Times reports that hedge funds are increasing investment in both Ukraine and Russia. 

“People are just going about their business. If there was going to be a war, people would be acting in a different way. Everybody is quite calm,” David Amaryan, founder of Balchug Capital, a global fund run out of Moscow, told the Times.

Will Porter contributed to this article. 

 

Quick Links

 

US News

  • The FBI got a ‘geofence’ warrant for a BLM protest in Portland. Google complied with the warrant giving the FBI information on anyone that was near the building. [Link]
  • Body camera footage shows Minneapolis police murdering Amir Locke. [Link]
  • North Carolina police raided the wrong home and pointed guns at children. A judge blocked the release of body camera footage. [Link]
  • A US Navy officer pleads guilty to accepting bribes – including sex – in exchange for confidential information. The information was used by a company to secure contracts with the Pentagon. [Link]

Haiti

  • A Haitian opposition group is calling on the US to withdraw its support for Prime Minister Ariel Henry. [Link]

Russia

  • National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan warns Russia could invade Ukraine “any day.” [Link]
  • The Washington Post reports US military and intelligence assessments say Russia has moved 70% of the troops it needs into position for an invasion of Ukraine. [Link]
  • In response to the US warning of an invasion, Ukraine’s foreign minister says “do not believe the apocalyptic predictions.” [Link]
  • French President Macron will travel to Moscow to meet with Putin. [Link] Biden and Macron spoke before Macron met with Putin. [Link]
  • Russia flew nuclear-capable bombers over Belarus. [Link]
  • Russia and China release a joint statement condemning further NATO expansion. [Link]
  • Russia shut down the German news outlet DW’s Moscow office in response to Germany banning RT’s broadcast. [Link]

China

  • The House passes the America COMPETES Act. [Link]
  • A new bill will urge Taiwan to change the name of its diplomatic office in the US. [Link]
  • The US and Japan begin the Nobel Fusion war games. [Link]

Pakistan/Afghanistan

  • The Pakistani Army says it killed 20 members of the Baluch Liberation Army. The rebel group recently attacked two Pakistani Army bases. [Link]
  • Militants in Afghanistan killed five Pakistani soldiers in a cross-border attack. [Link]
  • The US says the Abby Gate suicide bomber carried out the attack without accomplices. The US also says no Marine fired on Afghans. [Link]

Iran

  • The US restores waivers for work on Iran’s civilian nuclear energy program. [Link]
  • Iran says it is willing to continue talks with Saudi Arabia. [Link]
  • Iran delivered a shipment of condensate to Venezuela. [Link]

Syria

  • The Pentagon says Spc. Alex Ram died in Syria. The DoD claimed his death was unrelated to combat. [Link]
  • Hundreds of children are still held in an SDF prison in US-occupied Syria. The prison holds ISIS prisoners and recently was attacked by the terror group. [Link] UNICEF warns the children are in need of food and aid. [Link]

Middle East

  • Biden approves a $4.2 billion sale of F-16s to Jordan. Saudi Arabia and the UAE also received approvals to buy upgrades for their American-made air defense systems. [Link]
  • Saudi airstrikes killed seven Houthi in Taiz Province. [Link] Pro-Saudi forces claim to be making gains in the area. [Link]

Africa

  • The US donates three million covid vaccine doses to four African nations through Covax. [Link]
  • Germany says it is unsure if it can maintain its troops in Mali. [Link]

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of Antiwar.com and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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