According to Ukraine’s foreign minister, Russia does not have enough troops to launch a “full-scale offensive”.
Dmitro Kuleba told reporters, “The large number of Russian troops in Ukraine’s border and Ukrainian occupied territories is a threat to Ukraine, a direct threat to Ukraine; however, at the moment, as we speak, it is The numbers are insufficient for a full-scale attack against Ukraine along the entire Ukrainian border.”
Russia denies it is preparing to launch a major offensive, but US President Joe Biden and his allies say Moscow is “attacking at very short notice” with more than 100,000 troops stationed on Ukraine’s borders. Can do.
Kuleba’s statement came just hours after Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky urged Ukrainians to remain calm during a nationwide broadcast, but there is no “childish illusion” about the magnitude of the Russian threat. “Protect your body from the virus, your mind from the lies, your heart from the panic,” he urged.
The Ukrainian leader took issue this week with the evacuation of some personnel from their embassies by the United States, Britain, Canada and Australia, telling Ukrainians that the evacuation does not mean the escalation is inevitable. Ukrainian officials expressed dismay at the departure of some Western diplomats and their families earlier this week, saying it was premature.
An official told the VOA that the evacuation undermined efforts to assuage fears of ordinary Ukrainians. The United States and Britain have also asked their citizens to leave. “Given that the President has stated that military action by Russia could come at any time, the US government would not be in a position to evacuate American citizens,” a State Department spokesman said earlier this week.
According to Ukrainian officials, Zelensky spoke on the issue of evacuation during US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Kiev last week, saying that withdrawing staff would now be an “overreaction” and send an inconsistent message to Russia, As well as early alarm – something Moscow could exploit.
Ukrainians have been at odds with Russian threats for nearly eight years since the 2014 Maidan uprising, which toppled President Viktor Yanukovich, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. In the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, which was seized by pro-Moscow armed proxies after the Meadow uprising, fighting erupted and boiled over, killing more than 15,000 people.
But with more than 100,000 Russian troops encamped on its borders and threatening the biggest land war in Europe since World War II, ordinary Ukrainians are on edge. Many are preparing contingency and flight plans in the event of an attack, including stocking up on essential staples and preparing their belongings if they must flee.
Ukrainians are swapping out tips about war preparation on social media platforms, including Facebook, under the hashtag #миготові (#weareredy). “Every family wants to learn how to prepare for an emergency and do whatever is necessary in advance,” posted Valerie Paker, an academic.
They say how to manage anxiety is a political issue. “Pretending that nothing is happening – it means that when something does happen, the panic will be unacceptably high. If you push it now – the panic will be unacceptably high right now. I see the only possible strategy It is: raising the level of anxiety gradually so that people can think, get used to it, start doing something little by little,” he says.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture and Information Policy has issued an emergency state of war brochure detailing what families should prepare for and how to react if a war breaks out. In Kiev, however, there are some clear signs of alarm, and banks are not reporting any huge cash withdrawals.
Ukraine’s former defense minister, Andrey Zagorodnyuk, also heard a note of reassurance, saying in a newspaper on Monday that the Kremlin had not yet mobilized enough troops to launch a large-scale operation.
Zagorodnyuk states that Russia would need an army of several million to attack. Among the missing elements, he points out, are mobile field hospitals, noting that many battalion tactical groups do not have a full complement of tanks and armored vehicles. “If Russia was preparing for a massive offensive, it would be much more noticeable,” said Zagorodnyuk.
Meanwhile, Britain’s foreign secretary, Liz Truss, has called on NATO allies to put pressure on Russia and “do more” to support Ukraine. Speaking to the BBC on Wednesday, Truss called for more efforts to deter Russia and clarified that the price of war would be high. “We want our ally Ukraine to do more to provide defensive aid.” try.”
Truss said the British government was drafting new legislation to strengthen Britain’s sanctions regime “so we are able to target more companies and individuals in Russia.”