War looks imminent after shelling on Ukraine front line: Biden Ukraine, pro-Russian separatists exchanged fire

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US President Joe Biden said on Thursday there was now every indication Russia was planning to invade into Ukraine, including signs Moscow was carrying out a false flag operation to justify it, after Ukrainian forces and pro-Moscow rebels traded fire.

Moscow, for its part, ejected the number two official from the US embassy and released a strongly worded letter to the United States accusing Washington of ignoring its security demands.

Biden’s remarks came shortly after Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists exchanged fire across a frontline that divides them, in what Western officials described as a possible pretext created by Moscow to invade.

“We have reason to believe they are engaged in a false flag operation to have an excuse to go in.

Every indication we have is they’re prepared to go into Ukraine and attack Ukraine,” Biden told reporters as he departed the White House.

Biden ordered Secretary of State Antony Blinken to change his travel plans at the last minute to speak at a United Nations Security Council meeting on Ukraine.

“The evidence on the ground is that Russia is moving toward an imminent invasion. This is a crucial moment,” US Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, told reporters.

Russia denies planning to invade its neighbour and said this week it was pulling back some of the more than 100,000 troops it has massed near the frontier. Washington says Russia is not withdrawing, but in fact sending more forces.“

We see them fly in more combat and support aircraft. We see them sharpen their readiness in the Black Sea,” Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said at NATO headquarters in Brussels. “We even see them stocking up their blood supplies.” “I was a soldier myself not that long ago. I know firsthand that you don’t do these sorts of things for no reason,” AGENCIES

 

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