As of Sunday, the number of Russian troops stationed along the border with Ukraine is now well over 130,000, leading to increased concerns and precautionary measures over a potential imminent invasion.
According to ABC News, flights into the capital city of Kyiv have been canceled by several airlines, and Ukrainian soldiers have been unloading fresh weapon shipments sent in by North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members.
On Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke by phone to Joe Biden, claiming that the country had “safe and reliable protection” from any possible invasion. In a public broadcast the previous day, Zelensky told his country that “we understand all the risks, we understand that there are risks.”
“If you, or anyone else, has additional information regarding a 100% Russian invasion starting on the 16th, please forward that information to us,” Zelensky continued.
This contradicts with the Biden Administration’s insistence that an invasion by Russia is all but imminent, which has led to formal warnings from the United States government for any Americans still in Ukraine to flee the country immediately.
“We’re not going to give Russia the opportunity to conduct a surprise here, to spring something on Ukraine or the world,” said Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, on Sunday. “We are going to make sure that we are laying out for the world what we see as transparently and plainly as we possibly can.” Biden’s State Department has previously claimed, with no evidence, that Russia may be preparing to stage a “false flag” attack on itself in order to justify invading Ukraine.
The Kremlin has insisted that the gathering of troops, located on the northern, southern, and eastern borders of Ukraine, is simply a series of military exercises.