By: The Epoch Times
A top White House aide asserted on Feb. 6 that Russia could invade Ukraine at “any time now” amid a weeks-long standoff between Moscow and Washington.
“It could happen as soon as tomorrow or it could take some weeks yet,” Biden administration national security adviser Jake Sullivan told ABC News. Russian President Vladimir Putin, he said, “has put himself in a position with military deployments to be able to act aggressively against Ukraine at any time now.”
“We believe that there is a very distinct possibility that Vladimir Putin will order an attack on Ukraine. It could take a number of different forms. It could happen as soon as tomorrow or it could take some weeks yet,” Sullivan said, stressing that the United States is still trying to pursue a path of diplomacy.
Russia has amassed a significant number of troops along the Russia–Ukraine border in recent weeks. Troops have also been deployed in nearby Belarus.
However, during the ABC News appearance, Sullivan insisted that U.S. military forces that have been recently deployed to Europe are not meant to fight Russian forces in Ukraine.
Sullivan also didn’t directly address reports that the White House has briefed lawmakers that a full Russian invasion could lead to the quick capture of Kyiv and potentially result in as many as 50,000 casualties as he made appearances on a trio of talk shows on Feb. 6.
Meanwhile, U.S. troops and equipment landed on Feb. 6 in southeastern Poland near the border with Ukraine following Biden’s orders to deploy 1,700 soldiers there amid fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Hundreds more infantry troops of the 82nd Airborne Division are still expected to arrive at the Rzeszow-Jasionka airport.
Those troops “have been sent to defend NATO territory because we have a sacred obligation under Article 5 to defend our NATO allies and to send a clear message to Russia, that if it tries to take any military action or aggression against our NATO allies, it will be met with a stiff response, including by the U.S. forces who are on the ground there now,” Sullivan told ABC.
A U.S. Army Boeing C-17 Globemaster plane brought a few dozen troops and vehicles.
Their commander is Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue, who on Aug. 30 was the last American soldier to leave Afghanistan following a widely criticized evacuation strategy as Taliban fighters swiftly took over the country and its capital, Kabul.
“Our national contribution here in Poland shows our solidarity with all of our allies here in Europe and, obviously, during this period of uncertainty we know that we are stronger together,” Donahue said at the airport over the weekend.