A new report from The Guardian indicates that despite what Russian President Vladimir Putin told President Joe Biden on their recent video call, Russia is closer than ever to war with Ukraine.
The Guardian reports that a wagon was spotted near the border carrying a Buk-M1, which is the same kind of medium-range surface-to-air missile system that shot down a Malaysian airliner 2014, killing all 298 people aboard. The missile had been fired from territory controlled by Russian proxies in eastern Ukraine.
President Biden has said that Russia would face “severe consequences” if Putin decides to invade an American ally. Russia would still need to take a number of steps if it plans to declare war on Ukraine: establishing fuel supply lines, opening field hospitals, and deploying air-defense systems such as the Buk would protect its armory and troops near the front.
Remember the “NATO expansion crisis” after the Orange Revolution? You don’t because there was not one. There would be no “NATO expansion crisis” right now had Putin not invaded Ukraine.
— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) December 12, 2021
Putin may still decide not to launch an invasion as he leaves troops near the front as leverage for negotiations. But both Russian and western military analysts are predicting that this buildup of both weapons and troops for the second time in less than a year might signal a series of future crises over Ukraine as Putin seeks to stand between them and their allies in the west. Putin has spent the last two decades trying to fight NATO expansion, but the possible accession of Ukraine into the military alliance has always touched deeper emotions, and in part motivated him to order the annexation of Crimea and provoke a war in eastern Ukraine that has killed more than 14,000 people.
On Putin’s favorite American channel Newsmax, Rep. Van Drew says it’s Joe Biden’s fault that Russia is threatening to invade Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/LWVel9DI33
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) December 11, 2021
The Guardian reports that Russia’s foreign ministry released its list of demands for how to end the crisis on Friday. Chief among them was for NATO to “officially disavow the decision of the 2008 Bucharest NATO summit that ‘Ukraine and Georgia will become NATO members’”.
Biden: I’ve made it absolutely clear to President Putin that if he moves on Ukraine, the economic consequences for his economy are going to be devastating. Devastating… pic.twitter.com/eUpDfBfX6u
— Acyn (@Acyn) December 11, 2021
Read the full report at The Guardian.