The U.S. believes that Russia will invade overnight on Wednesday, the Secretary of State said, as the United Nations called another emergency session of the Security Council.
Anthony Blinken, the Secretary of State, was asked by Lester Holt on NBC News on whether he thought there would be a full-scale invasion from Russia ‘before this night is over’.
Blinken replied: ‘I do. Unfortunately Russia has positioned its forces at the final point of readiness across Ukraine’s borders – to the north, the east, the south.
‘Everything seems to be in place for Russia to engage in a major aggression against Ukraine.’
Blinken added: ‘I can’t put a date or an exact time on it, but everything is in place for Russia to move forward.’
Blinken’s comments came as the UN prepared to hold its second – highly unusual – late night emergency session in three days.
The Council met on Monday night, with Russia – which currently holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council – defiant in the face of criticism from other members. They will meet again on Wednesday at 9:30pm in New York.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday night addressed the nation, saying that he had tried to contact Vladimir Putin to discuss the situation, but Putin refused to take his call.
‘I initiated a telephone call with the president of the Russian federation. Result: silence,’ Zelensky said.
Zelensky said he wanted to address the Russian people – admitting that he knew the speech would not be shown in the country – but warning that the ‘spark’ for invasion could come at any time.
‘You are told that this flame will liberate the people of Ukraine, but the Ukrainian people are free.
‘You are told we are Nazis, but how can a people support Nazis that gave more than eight million lives for the victory over Nazism?’
Zelensky also rejected Moscow’s claim that Ukraine was a threat to Russia.
‘The people of Ukraine and the government of Ukraine want peace,’ Zelensky said, adding that a Russian invasion would cost tens of thousands of lives.
Zelensky added that there were now 200,000 Russian troops amassed near Ukraine’s borders.
Zelensky said that the people of Russia were being lied to about Ukraine and urged them to help stop a possible war.
‘Who can stop (the war)? People. These people are among you, I am sure,’ he said.
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Source: Daily Mail