Biden Says No Boots On The Ground Coming

( Friday, President Biden said that he was “convinced” Russian President Vladimir Putin would be ordering the invasion of Ukraine within days and predicted the military operation could target Kyiv.

In a brief address from the White House Friday evening, the President provided an update on the current crisis in Ukraine where he said, based on US intelligence, he believes Putin has already made up his mind to launch the invasion “in the coming week, in the coming days” and the target of this attack will be Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.

He reiterated the administration’s claim that Russia will use “false flag” attacks as a pretext to launch an invasion and accused Russia of ceasefire violations to provoke Ukraine forces in Donbas. Biden said it “defies basic logic” that Ukraine would choose to escalate the conflict now when Russia has over 150,000 Russian troops massed at its border.

The President also clarified that the United States would not send US troops to fight in Ukraine.

Biden said that it isn’t too late to de-escalate the situation and work diplomatically to solve the crisis and he implored President Putin to “choose diplomacy.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scheduled to meet with Russia’s foreign minister next week and the President warned that if Russia takes action before that meeting, “it will be clear that they have slammed the door shut on diplomacy.”

On Friday, President Putin again insisted that he was prepared for further negotiations. However, Russian officials confirmed that its military would be conducting drills over the weekend, including the launching of ballistic and cruise missiles.

President Biden’s remarks followed another round of videoconference meetings with European leaders on Friday afternoon.

Earlier in the day, tensions escalated as Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine called for mass evacuations of the area claiming Ukraine forces were planning an attack. Western officials, however, denounced the move as a Russian attempt to create a pretext for a full-scale invasion.

According to an assessment from US officials in Europe, Russia may have as many as 190,000 troops both along the Ukrainian border and inside the two pro-Russian separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.