The Russians could attack Ukraine “at any time”, senior American officials repeated on Sunday, the day after a call between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin which did not give them “reason for optimism”.
A Russian invasion of Ukraine is possible at any time, says Joe Biden . The telephone conversation between him and his Russian counterpart “certainly did not show that things were moving in the right direction,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told Fox. There “is no sign that Putin intends to ease the tensions”, he added.
“We believe major military action could take place at any time,” he continued.
Russia, which denies any will to war, has since November massed more than 100,000 soldiers on the border with Ukraine and has begun military maneuvers in Belarus and the Black Sea in recent days , de facto surrounding its neighbor.
“For ten days, we have seen an acceleration of the reinforcement of Russian troops and their positioning closer to the border, so that a military action could be launched very, very quickly”,
added on CNN the national security adviser. of the White House, Jake Sullivan.
An attack this week?
For him, the attack “could take place as early as this week”. “It is likely to begin with heavy missile fire and shelling”, followed by “ground troop movements”.
It remains possible, he said, that Vladimir Putin will opt for the diplomatic route. “I’m not in his head,” Jake Sullivan said.
Asked about the reservations expressed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, for whom the United States is too alarmist, he explained that Washington had decided to share its analyzes publicly to “prevent Russia from taking Ukraine and the world by surprise”. .
Exchange between Biden and Zelensky
President Zelensky and Joe Biden are due to speak by telephone on Sunday.
In recent days, diplomatic efforts have intensified to try to avoid a war in Ukraine. After the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is expected Monday in Kiev and Tuesday in Moscow.
Moscow responsible for the risk of war according to Germany
On the eve of this visit, German head of state Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Sunday that Moscow bore “responsibility” for a risk of “war” in Europe.
“We are in the midst of a risk of military conflict, of war in Eastern Europe and it is Russia that bears the responsibility,” he said just after his re-election for five years in this mainly ceremonial post. .
A German government source says tensions between Russia and Ukraine have reached a “critical” point with the deployment of troops on the border.