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“Imminent invasion”: Blinken visits UN to address Russian aggression

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a last-minute visit to the United Nations Security Council on Thursday, after intelligence indicated Russia is moving closer to an invasion of Ukraine. Despite Russian reports of troop withdrawals, U.S. intelligence suggests Russia has done the opposite, sending an additional 7,000 troops to Ukraine’s borders.

“The most immediate threat to peace and security is Russia’s looming aggression against Ukraine,” Blinken told the council. “This is a moment of peril for the lives and safety of millions of people.”

“Our goal is to convey the gravity of the situation. The evidence on the ground is that Russia is moving toward an imminent invasion,” United Nations Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield tweeted.

Thursday morning, Russian officials responded to a letter from the United States, threatening military escalation if their demands are not met.

“In the absence of the readiness of the American side to agree on firm, legally binding guarantees to ensure our security from the United States and its allies, Russia will be forced to respond, including through the implementation of military-technical measures,” the letter stated.

“It’s unfolding right now, today, as Russia takes steps down the path to war and reissued the threat of military action,” Blinken said in response to the letter. 

“Every indication that we have is that they are prepared to go into Ukraine, attack Ukraine,” President Biden said ahead of a scheduled trip to Ohio. “My sense is it will happen within the next several days.”

The State Department confirmed the U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission to Russia, the second highest ranking American in Russia, was expelled from the country.

Officials in the United States are still working toward a diplomatic solution but admit it is becoming less likely.

“It will be clear to the entire world that he started a war with diplomatic options left on the table,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Thursday, Feb. 17.  “It will be Mr. Putin who will bear the responsibility for the suffering and the immense sacrifice that ensues.”

Blinken has requested a meeting with Russia’s Foreign Minister to discuss a diplomatic solution.

TAKE SOT- ANTONY BLINKEN

<<”the most immediate threat to peace and security is Russia’s looming aggression against Ukraine/This is a moment of peril for the lives and safety of millions of people,”>>

Annie Andersen: THAT’S THE DIRE WARNING SECRETARY OF STATE ANTONY BLINKEN ISSUED DURING AN IMPROMPTU VISIT TO THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL THURSDAY MORNING. 

TAKE SOT- ANTONY BLINKEN

<<”it’s unfolding right now. today, as Russia takes steps down the path to war and reissued the threat of military action.”>>

Annie Andersen: BLINKIN IS REFERRING TO A STATEMENT FROM RUSSIAN OFFICIALS POSTED SHORTLY BEFORE HE SPOKE- THREATENING THE POTENTIAL FOR BLOCKADES, SEIZURES, AND EVEN THE POSSIBILITY OF MORE DIRECT ATTACKS ON SELECT TARGETS IN UKRAINE.

AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT CONFIRMS.. THE US Deputy Chief of Mission to Russia WAS EXPELLED FROM THE COUNTRY…THE SECOND HIGHEST RANKING AMERICAN IN RUSSIA…

IT’S A MOVE THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION IS CALLING AN ‘escalatory step’

TAKE SOT- BIDEN

<<“Every indication that we have is that they are prepared to go into Ukraine, attack Ukraine/ “My sense is it will happen within the next several days.”>>

Annie Andersen: THE UPDATES ARE JUST THE LATEST IN A BACK-AND-FORTH OF REPORTS AND FOLLOWS AN ANNOUNCEMENT FROM  THE RUSSIAN DEFENSE FEDERATION THAT CLAIMED THEY WERE PULLING TROOPS BACK 

U-S AND INTERNATIONAL INTELLIGENCE SHOWED RUSSIA WAS DOING THE OPPOSITE…SENDING 7-THOUSAND MORE TROOPS TO UKRAINE’S BORDERS AND EVEN STOCKING UP BLOOD SUPPORT SUPPLIES. . 

TAKE SOT- Lloyd Austin, US Sec. of Defense

<<”I was a soldier myself not that long ago. And I know firsthand that you don’t do these sorts of things, for no reason. And you certainly don’t do them if you’re getting ready to pack up and go home.”>>

Annie Andersen: SECRETARY OF DEFENSE LLOYD AUSTIN SAID HE IS NOT GIVING UP ON DIPLOMACY.. BUT ADMITTED IT IS BECOMING LESS LIKELY. 

TAKE SOT- Lloyd Austin, US Sec. of Defense

<<“It will be Mr. Putin, who will bear the responsibility for the suffering and the immense sacrifice that ensues.”>>

Annie Andersen: THURSDAY – Ukraine’s foreign minister SAID A VILLAGE IN EASTERN UKRAINE  “was shelled with heavy weapons from the occupied territory of the Donbas.

A KINDERGARTEN WAS REPORTEDLY DAMAGED AND 2 PEOPLE INJURED.

THIS IS A CONTENTIOUS REGION WHERE THERE ARE RUSSIAN- BACKED SEPARTIST FORCES. 

TAKE SOT- Lloyd Austin, US Sec. of Defense

“<<We’re still gathering the details. But you know, we’ve said for some time that the Russians might do something like this in order to justify a military kind of conflict.”>>

Annie Andersen: BLINKEN HAS REQUESTED A MEETING WITH RUSSIA’S FOREIGN MINISTER FOR NEXT WEEK TO TRY ONCE AGAIN FOR A PEACEFUL OUTCOME. 

TAKE SOT- ANTONY BLINKEN 

<<”let me be clear, I am here today, not to start a war, but to prevent one.”>>

Annie Andersen: STRAIGHT FROM DC I’M AA

Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a last-minute visit to the United Nations Security Council on Thursday, after intelligence indicated Russia is moving closer to an invasion of Ukraine. Despite Russian reports of troop withdrawals, U.S. intelligence suggests Russia has done the opposite, sending an additional 7,000 troops to Ukraine’s borders.

“The most immediate threat to peace and security is Russia’s looming aggression against Ukraine,” Blinken told the council. “This is a moment of peril for the lives and safety of millions of people.”

“Our goal is to convey the gravity of the situation. The evidence on the ground is that Russia is moving toward an imminent invasion,” United Nations Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield tweeted.

Thursday morning, Russian officials responded to a letter from the United States, threatening military escalation if their demands are not met.

“In the absence of the readiness of the American side to agree on firm, legally binding guarantees to ensure our security from the United States and its allies, Russia will be forced to respond, including through the implementation of military-technical measures,” the letter stated.

“It’s unfolding right now, today, as Russia takes steps down the path to war and reissued the threat of military action,” Blinken said in response to the letter. 

“Every indication that we have is that they are prepared to go into Ukraine, attack Ukraine,” President Biden said ahead of a scheduled trip to Ohio. “My sense is it will happen within the next several days.”

The State Department confirmed the U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission to Russia, the second highest ranking American in Russia, was expelled from the country.

Officials in the United States are still working toward a diplomatic solution but admit it is becoming less likely.

“It will be clear to the entire world that he started a war with diplomatic options left on the table,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Thursday, Feb. 17.  “It will be Mr. Putin who will bear the responsibility for the suffering and the immense sacrifice that ensues.”

Blinken has requested a meeting with Russia’s Foreign Minister to discuss a diplomatic solution.

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