Washington shared intelligence with the Ukrainian authorities “not to start, but to stop the war.”
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday, February 13, stressed that the U.S. administration does not undertake yet to confirm intelligence reports that Russia is planning a military invasion of Ukraine in the coming days, but that the United States will try to help prevent any sudden attack.
“We are not able to accurately predict the day [of the invasion], but we have been saying for some time that the period has come when the invasion and serious hostilities between Russia and Ukraine can begin any day, including the upcoming final week of the Olympic Games,” Sullivan said.
He again warned that the Russian armed forces have increased their potential on the border so much that they have the opportunity to carry out an attack, using as a pretext any reason that exposes Ukraine as an aggressor.
“From the way they (the Russian authorities) are building up their forces, how these forces are maneuvering, the possibility of major military actions in the very near future clearly emerges,” the presidential adviser said.
In this regard, the Biden administration called on American citizens in Ukraine to leave the country as soon as possible due to the threat of invasion.
“If you are Americans in Ukraine, then you have to get out of there,” Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby said, speaking on Fox News.
Jake Sullivan did not go into specific details of a potential military operation of the Russian forces, but stressed that the United States shared its intelligence with Ukraine and NATO allies. He warned that the Russian invasion would result in severe suffering of people on both sides and a large number of civilian casualties.
The Russian invasion “will begin with a flurry of missile and bomb attacks,” followed by “an offensive by ground forces across the Ukrainian border,” Sullivan continued.
“Innocent citizens may get caught in the crossfire or end up in places they can’t get out of,” he added.
In recent weeks, the United States and its NATO allies have released a series of intelligence reports detailing Russia’s alleged actions to disrupt Ukrainian cyber systems and critical infrastructure, spread disinformation and deploy troops.
This has caused some criticism from Ukrainian leaders, who fear that the publication of such data could cause panic.
Nevertheless, Biden administration officials support this approach.
“We are not presenting this intelligence to start a war, as has happened in the past. We are presenting this data to stop the war,” Sullivan said.