Unknown U.S. officials said as many as 50,000 Ukrainian civilians, along with 25,000 soldiers, could be killed if Russia invaded.
Mariupol, Ukraine Russia has established 70 percent of the military buildup it needs to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, according to U.S. officials quoted anonymously in U.S. media.
During six hours of closed-door meetings last week, officials were warned by senior members of President Joe Biden’s administration that one of the most aggressive options is a rapid capture of the capital, Kiev. According to the Washington Post and New York Times.
Although the unnamed officials said intelligence analysts did not believe Russia’s President Vladimir Putin had made the final decision to invade, they did warn of as many as 50,000 civilian deaths and up to 25,000 Ukrainian soldiers killed if Russia will continue.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba questioned US media reports on Sunday.
“Do not believe the apocalyptic predictions. Different capitals have different scenarios, but Ukraine is ready for any development. Today, Ukraine has a strong army, unprecedented international support, and Ukrainians’ faith in their country. “This enemy must be afraid of us, not us,” Kuleba said.
Law groups international amnesty and the Norwegian Refugee Council has warned in recent weeks that a military escalation between Ukraine and Russia could lead to a new refugee crisis, displacing millions of people from eastern Ukraine and the areas controlled by pro-Russian forces.
“The threat of military force by Russia is already affecting the human rights of millions of people in Ukraine and beyond,” said Agnes Callamard, Amnesty’s secretary general.
“The effects of real military power are likely to be devastating.”
The anonymous US officials quoted by US media also said a large Russian naval force was positioned in the Black Sea, equipped with five amphibious vessels that could be used to land troops on Ukraine’s south coast.
Possible attacks on Ukraine at the bottom of the scale could take the form of sabotage, cyberattacks and other destabilizing actions aimed at removing the current government in Kiev, they said.
‘Awkwardness and scare’
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s government downplays the current threat posed to Ukraine by the build-up of tens of thousands of Russian troops and military hardware at the border and in annexed Crimea.
The United States and the United Kingdom have been charged exaggerate the threat, something they categorically denied.
Russian diplomat Dmitry Polyanskiy, a UN envoy, called the latest US media reports quoting unnamed officials as “madness and intimidation”.
“What if we said the US could seize London within a week and cause 300,000 civilian deaths? It’s all based on our intelligence sources which we will not disclose,” he said in a Twitter post.
Another masterpiece of American propaganda war. Anonymous officials, unknown sources, no evidence. And as we have all seen, if you openly question such falsifications, you will not get answers and you will be branded a Russian apologist. #KeepCalmAndBlameRussia https://t.co/b3fG9JKQby pic.twitter.com/KspNKuiSwz
– Dmitry Polyanskiy (@Dpol_un) 6 February 2022
Both sides accused the other of planning false flag operations in recent days as a pretext for further military escalation.
US intelligence sources say Russia is planning an operation involving false drone strikes on the Donbas region, the target language for eastern Ukraine, or on Russian territory, while Russian state television claims Kiev is going to launch a NATO-backed attack on pro -Russian separatist launch. .
European leaders are expected to visit both Moscow and Kiev this week in an effort to calm tensions.
French President Emmanuel Macron will visit on Monday and Tuesday, while German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will travel to Kiev on February 14 and Moscow the next day.