An attack on Ukraine in the near future is unlikely, the country’s defense minister said
Despite increased fears over a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, there is no indication that Moscow is planning to launch an offensive in the near future, the defense minister in Kiev said on Monday.
Speaking to Ukrainian TV channel ICTV, owned by billionaire businessman Victor Pinchuk, Aleksey Reznikov dismissed the possibility of an impending Russian offensive.
“As of today, the Russian Armed Forces have not formed a strike force that would suggest that they will go on an offensive tomorrow,” he told the news channel, also rejecting suggestions that Moscow will invade on February 20, the day the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics end, calling the chances “not high.”
“There are risky scenarios, and in terms of the future, some are possible,” Reznikov continued, explaining that the country’s General Staff have plans for a wide range of possible situations.
“But as of today, there is no such threat,” he said.
Reznikov’s comments come as tensions between Russia and Ukraine remain at an all-time high. In recent months, Western media outlets and politicians have accused Moscow of concentrating 100,000 troops on the border with Ukraine, allegedly with a view to launching an offensive in the near future.
Earlier on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused the US-led NATO bloc of escalating tensions in Ukraine, suggesting that rumors about invasion and planned attacks are “information hysteria.”
On Saturday, in an interview with British newspaper The Times, the commander of Ukraine’s United Forces operation in Donbass Alexander Pavlyuk suggested that Russia would invade on February 20, theorizing that Russian President Vladimir Putin would not want to overshadow Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Olympic Games being hosted in Beijing.