Biden "predicts" Russia could attack Ukraine on February 16
The US president predicts that Russia will attack Ukraine on February 16, while experts argue on the interpretation of intelligence reports.
Biden told Americans yesterday that they should leave Ukraine "as soon as possible, and in any event, in the next 24 to 48 hours," speaking from his White House podium. He added “We don’t know what’s going to happen, but the risk is now high enough, and the threat is now immediate enough, that this is what prudence demands.”
The US President moved on from this to tell counterparts today, in a phone call with transatlantic leaders, that Russian forces will possibly attack Ukraine in five days.
There have been different assessments in US political circles of what might happen, as sources told Politico that although US circles indicate that the intelligence revolving around the February 16 date indicates an attack, Europeans paint a different picture.
Read more: Russia: Anglo-Saxons need a war at any cost
A UK official said that "we have a different interpretation" of the intelligence on February 16, and two EU diplomats were even more skeptical. One of them said "I still refuse to buy it. It would be such a mistake by Putin. War is costly, Ukraine will fight them with everything.”
Another senior official from an eastern European country said that it is "difficult to say" whether an invasion is imminent, and said that "the main idea is to be prepared with sanctions" and that "coordination and unity are key."
The West has been accusing Russia of preparing to invade Ukraine and amassing over 100,000 soldiers on their common border, as the United States is increasingly militarizing Eastern Europe, under the pretext that Russia is preparing for military operations in Ukraine.
Alongside the accusations, the West has been threatening Russia with "severe consequences" if it invades. Russia repeatedly denied the western accusations while maintaining its right to defend its security.