Tensions among the United States, Russia and Ukraine are not subsiding. President Joe Biden and his administration have vigorously and repeatedly told Americans to leave the region, likely trying to avoid a catastrophic result similar to that in Afghanistan.
President Biden was even so kind as to tell Americans if they don’t leave and get stuck, they will not be “rescued” after not listening. In the latest news, Russia has expelled the second-most senior American diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
On Thursday, a State Department spokesman said “Russia’s action against our [deputy chief of mission] was unprovoked and we consider this an escalatory step and are considering our response,” referring to Russia ordering U.S. deputy chief of mission Bart Gorman to leave the country despite having a valid visa.
National Review reports the expulsion comes after President Biden said he believes Russia could invade Ukraine in the next several days. Biden has said roughly 150,000 Russian troops have gathered at the Ukraine border.
— ABC News (@ABC) February 17, 2022
Russia claims it has decreased the troop presence, but NATO and U.S. officials say there is “no evidence” of such claims. “Every indication that we have is that they are prepared to go into Ukraine, attack Ukraine,” Biden said. “My sense is it will happen within the next several days,” he added.
“We call on Russia to end its baseless expulsions of U.S. diplomats and staff and to work productively to rebuild our missions,” the State Department spokesman added. “Now more than ever, it is critical that our countries have the necessary diplomatic personnel in place to facilitate communication between our governments.”
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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’
Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social, “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”
Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”
It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.
Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.
And the escalation of war is visible.
Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.
Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.
Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”
Morning. Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.
— Oleksiy Goncharenko (@GoncharenkoUa) January 26, 2023
The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”
F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.
Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.
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