MELBOURNE— Russia has despatched extra forces to its border with Ukraine and will launch an invasion at any time, together with in the course of the Winter Olympics, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned on Friday.
He mentioned Washington was persevering with to “draw down” its embassy in Ukraine and repeated a State Division name to Americans in Ukraine to go away the nation instantly.
“Merely put, we proceed to see very troubling indicators of Russian escalation, together with new forces arriving on the Ukrainian border,” Blinken informed a information convention within the Australian metropolis of Melbourne.
“As we’ve mentioned earlier than, we’re in a window when an invasion might start at any time, and to be clear, that features in the course of the Olympics.”
Russia, which has greater than 100,000 troops close to Ukraine’s borders, denies Western accusations it could be planning to invade its former Soviet neighbor. The Winter Olympics are being hosted by Beijing till Feb. 20.
Britain mentioned on Thursday the “most harmful second” within the West’s standoff with Moscow appeared imminent, as Russia held army workout routines in Belarus and the Black Sea following the buildup of its forces close to Ukraine.
The U.S. State Division urged Individuals in Ukraine to go away instantly due to what it referred to as elevated threats of Russian army motion and Blinken mentioned Washington would proceed to attract down its embassy.
“We’ll proceed that course of and we’ve additionally been very clear that any Americans who stay in Ukraine ought to go away now,” Blinken mentioned. —Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Kirsty Needham; modifying by Philippa Fletcher and Timothy Heritage