The United States is deeply concerned by evidence that Russia is preparing for significant aggressive moves against Ukraine, according to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
He said this at a press conference following a two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Riga on Wednesday, December 1.
“We’re deeply concerned by evidence that Russia has made plans for significant aggressive moves against Ukraine. The plans include efforts to destabilize Ukraine from within, as well as large-scale military operations. Now, we’ve seen this playbook before, in 2014, when Russia last invaded Ukraine,” Blinken said.
He noted that then, as now, Russia significantly increased combat forces near the border. At the same time, then, as now, Russia intensified disinformation to paint Ukraine as the aggressor to justify pre-planned military action, Blinken said.
According to him, in recent weeks, there has been a massive spike – more than tenfold – in social media activity pushing anti-Ukrainian propaganda, approaching levels last seen in the lead-up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014.
“Now, we don’t know whether President Putin has made the decision to invade. We do know that he is putting in place the capacity to do so on short order should he so decide. So despite uncertainty about intentions and timing, we must prepare for all contingencies while working to see to it that Russia reverses course,” Blinken said.