Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are sounding the alarm as Russia continues to amass tens of thousands of troops on the border with Ukraine and urging President Joe Biden to issue measures of deterrence.
"Reports that the Russian military has built up around 90,000 troops on the Ukraine border are quite unsettling," Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn released in a statement this week. "President Biden has an opportunity to act decisively through sanctions, sales of lethal assistance to Ukraine, and clear diplomatic messaging to Vladimir Putin, and he must do so. As the leader of the free world, Biden should also work with our NATO partners and allies to confront Russian aggression."
"We know that Putin has a long history of using national events to distract from his malign actions: he invaded Georgia during the 2008 Beijing Olympics and Crimea at the end of the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Now, the 2022 Beijing Olympics are imminent, and he is once again menacing the people of Ukraine," she continued. "Allowing Putin to execute a land grab in Ukraine would also embolden other malign entities such as the Chinese Communist Party. Putin frames Ukraine just as Xi frames Taiwan: through both nationalistic and false historical lenses. President Biden must send a strong signal to Putin, Xi, and other brutal strongmen around the world that the United States will not condone violent takeovers of vulnerable nations. He can do this right now by standing up for Ukraine, and reaffirming that the Ukrainians are faithful friends to the United States who have every right to defend their sovereignty."
Diplomats who have worked for Democrat administrations are warning of the consequences if Putin is able to proceed.
U.S. failure to deter Putin from invading Ukraine again will have negative consequences for the U.S. goal of deterring China from invading Taiwan. An effective China strategy requires an effective Russia strategy.— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) November 20, 2021
Ukraine is to Russia, what Taiwan is to China. If U.S. hesitates in Ukraine doesn’t make a stand, Xi will observe & see same opportunity in South China Sea.— Clint Watts (@selectedwisdom) November 21, 2021
According to the Military Times, Russia plans to invade Ukraine in the next few months.
"Russia has more than 92,000 troops amassed around Ukraine's borders and is preparing for an attack by the end of January or beginning of February, the head of Ukraine's defense intelligence agency told Military Times," the outlet reports. "Such an attack would likely involve airstrikes, artillery and armor attacks followed by airborne assaults in the east, amphibious assaults in Odessa and Mariupul and a smaller incursion through neighboring Belarus."
Ukraine officials are pushing back.
We see a surge in Russian disinfo, including false accusations of Ukraine plotting a military attack in the Donbas. Let me state it officially: Ukraine does not plan a military offensive in the Donbas. We are devoted to seeking political & diplomatic solutions to the conflict 1/3— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) November 22, 2021
At the same time, Ukrainian diplomacy continues working on strengthening Ukraine’s defense capabilities in order to deter and discourage Russia from further aggressive actions 3/3— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) November 22, 2021