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Psaki Warns Russia Could ‘At Any Point Launch An Attack In Ukraine’

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Jen Psaki

On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki warned that tensions between Russia and Ukraine have grown to the point where “we are now at a stage where Russia could at any point launch an attack in Ukraine.”

Psaki made the comments in response to a reporter asking about Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveling to Europe to meet with top Russian officials.

“This morning, Secretary Blinken spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov. They agreed to meet in Geneva as you noted. At that meeting, Secretary Blinken will urge Russia to take immediate steps to de-escalate,” Psaki said. “He will also fly to Kiev to consult with President Zelensky and Ukraine’s leaders and to Germany for consultations. As you also know, there is a congressional delegation that is also on their way there. And it’s a note, I would note that that just indicates that support for Ukraine has always been a bipartisan issue, and we welcome that.”

“But where things stand right now, President Putin has created this crisis by amassing 100,000 Russian troops along Ukraine’s borders.

This includes moving Russian forces into Belarus recently for joint exercises and conducting additional exercises on Ukraine’s eastern border,” she continued. “So, let’s be clear, our view is this is an extremely dangerous situation. We are now at a stage where Russia could at any point launch an attack in Ukraine.”

Psaki said that Blinken will push for a diplomatic way forward to de-escalate the situation and that if Russia invades then they “are going to suffer severe economic consequences.”

Russia has been behaving more aggressively in recent months as it has moved military forces to Latin America and might relocate nuclear weapons near the United States coastline.

Russian President Vladimir Putin “wants to extend Russia’s sphere of influence to Eastern Europe and secure written commitments that NATO will never again enlarge,” The New York Times reported. “If he is frustrated in reaching that goal, some of his aides suggested on the sidelines of the negotiations last week, then he would pursue Russia’s security interests with results that would be felt acutely in Europe and the United States.”

“There were hints, never quite spelled out, that nuclear weapons could be shifted to places — perhaps not far from the United States coastline — that would reduce warning times after a launch to as little as five minutes, potentially igniting a confrontation with echoes of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis,” The Times added.

“The current crisis was touched off by the Kremlin’s release of a series of demands that, if the U.S. and its allies agreed, would effectively restore Russia’s sphere of influence close to Soviet-era lines, before NATO expanded into Eastern Europe. It has also demanded that all U.S. nuclear weapons be withdrawn from Europe, saying it felt threatened by their presence — though the types and locations of those weapons haven’t changed in years. And it wants a stop to all Western troop rotations through former Warsaw Pact states that have since joined NATO.”

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International

Report: Ukraine Sunk Russian Warship By Using US Intel

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Ukraine sunk the Russian warship Moskva last month using United States intelligence, according to a new report from NBC News.

“A guided missile cruiser carrying a crew of 510, the Moskva was the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet,” NBC News reported. “It sank on April 14 after being struck by two Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missiles, U.S. officials said. Moscow said the vessel sank after a fire. The Moskva was the largest Russian warship sunk in combat since World War II. American officials said there were significant Russian casualties, but they don’t know how many.”

“The attack happened after Ukrainian forces asked the Americans about a ship sailing in the Black Sea south of Odesa, U.S. officials told NBC News,” the outlet added. “The U.S. identified it as the Moskva, officials said, and helped confirm its location, after which the Ukrainians targeted the ship.”

The news comes the day after a report from The New York Times revealed that the United States has provided Ukraine with intelligence on Russian military units that has enabled the country to kill multiple Russian generals.

“The targeting help is part of a classified effort by the Biden administration to provide real-time battlefield intelligence to Ukraine,” The New York Times reported. “That intelligence also includes anticipated Russian troop movements gleaned from recent American assessments of Moscow’s secret battle plan for the fighting in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, the officials said. Officials declined to specify how many generals had been killed as a result of U.S. assistance.”

“The United States has focused on providing the location and other details about the Russian military’s mobile headquarters, which relocate frequently,” the outlet added. “Ukrainian officials have combined that geographic information with their own intelligence — including intercepted communications that alert the Ukrainian military to the presence of senior Russian officers — to conduct artillery strikes and other attacks that have killed Russian officers.”

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Putin’s Personal Cameraman Quit After Recording His Invasion Speech

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Russian President Vladimir Putin’s personal cameraman, Ilya Filatov, reportedly quit his job immediately after filming Putin’s announcement that he would be invading Ukraine.

The timing of Filatov’s exit from a job that he had for over a decade led to speculation that he actually faced dismissal because of negative comments he allegedly made about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

However, Filatov “denies this version,” according to independent Russian news site The Insider, which is banned in Russia. Filatov claims that he quit because he “reached the ceiling in the profession” and that he was “tired of sitting in quarantine for many months,” which he was required to do to reduce the likelihood he could contract COVID-19 and infect Putin.

Filatov’s sudden departure from his long time role as Putin’s cameraman was part of a pattern of Russian employee exits following comments suggesting opposition to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As explained by The Insider, “Since the beginning of Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, one by one employees of Russian TV channels have been fired or left the frame. On April 21, Alexander Gurevich, the host of the One Hundred to One program, resigned from the VGTRK . Prior to this, anti-war comments on his behalf appeared under the episodes of the show on YouTube. In March, it became known that Zhanna Agalakova, an employee of Channel One, quit , and journalist Vadim Glusker quit NTV.”

The Insider also noted how Marina Ovsyannikova, an employee of Channel One, “broke into the live newscast for a few seconds with a poster “Stop the war! Don’t believe the propaganda, they lie to you here.” Before the action, she recorded a video message in which she condemned the actions of the Russian army on the territory of Ukraine. On March 15, the journalist was fined 30,000 rubles. In April, she became a freelance correspondent for the German Welt.”

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