Vladimir Putin may not stop after taking over Ukraine, warned US Secretary of State Tony Blinken, as satellite images show Russia gathering troops, armor and artillery Belarusborder with Poland.
Anthony Blinken was asked by ABC News on Thursday night if he thought the Russian president would withdraw his troops once Ukraine was conquered.
“Is it possible for Putin to leave Ukraine?” Of course, this is an opportunity, “Blinken told host David Muer.
But he stressed that moving beyond Ukraine to neighboring Poland, Slovakia, Hungary or Romania would mean an invasion of NATO Member State and will automatically withdraw to the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Canada and the other nations that make up the alliance of 30 countries.
“There is something very strong that stands in the way of this, and that is something we call Article Five,” Blinken said.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken talks to David Muir on ABC on Thursday about Putin’s invasion of Ukraine
Blinken was asked by ABC News on Thursday night if he thought the Russian president would withdraw his troops once Ukraine was conquered. “Is it possible for Putin to leave Ukraine?” Of course, this is an opportunity, “Blinken told host David Muer
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is holding a briefing in the head of state’s office in Kiev
“This means that an attack on one NATO member is an attack on all NATO members,” Blinken added. “The president was very clear that we would defend every inch of NATO territory.”
This comes after foreign policy correspondent Jack Detch said that “Russia has gathered troops, armor, artillery and more than 50 vehicles for heavy equipment in a training area in Brest, near the Polish border. Russia has also added more equipment to a nearby railway line in Belarus.
Blinken said he believed it would be “the most powerful deterrent” against Putin to move his artillery beyond Ukraine.
NEW: Russia has gathered troops, armor, artillery and more than 50 vehicles for heavy equipment at a training ground in Brest, near the Polish border.
Russia has also added more equipment to a nearby railway line in Belarus.
– Jack Detch (@JackDetsch) February 24, 2022
Satellite image shows military forces near Brest in western Belarus
Russian President Vladimir Putin was seen during a meeting with members of the Russian business community in the Moscow Kremlin
However, Blinken remains confident that Putin will try to bring about regime change in Ukraine.
“Are you convinced that Putin will overthrow this government?” Muir asked.
“I’m sure he’ll try to do that.”
Blinken added that he believes that no matter what happens, “democracy and independence of Ukraine will prevail” no matter what happens in the fighting.
Russia launched a full-scale war against Ukraine on Wednesday night against Thursday morning, with simultaneous attacks from the south, east and north, by land and air. Rockets and bombs rained down from the sky, tanks rolled across the border, helicopters buzzed and explosions were seen across the country after Putin ordered an attack.
The attack continued on Thursday, with a massive Russian helicopter attack on Hostomel, Ukraine, and its vital air base just 9 miles northwest of Kiev.
The president met with G7 leaders from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan on Thursday morning after meeting his National Security Council in the White House Situation Room. The G7 summit was also attended by the President of the European Commission, the President of the European Council and the Secretary General of NATO.
Biden will comment on “Russia’s unprovoked and unwarranted attack on Ukraine” at 1:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon in his first public appearance since the invasion.
Biden announced on Tuesday the “first tranche” of sanctions, a modest move that has prompted both Democrats and Republicans to criticize the administration for not being tough enough on Russia and Putin in the midst of the war.
That certainly did not stop Putin from taking action in Ukraine overnight.
Even after further measures, including sanctioning the company behind the Russia-Germany Nord Stream 2 pipeline, there are still internal and congressional insistence that Biden impose more “crippling sanctions”.
Representative Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, left the Capitol Hill Center for Sensitive Information (SCIF) to call for more sanctions.
“Russia has launched an unprovoked, unjustified campaign against Ukraine with a complete invasion. “Civilians are being killed, Ukraine is mobilizing its opposition to the Russian invasion,” a congressman from the Democratic Party in California told reporters. “We need to support Ukraine to defend itself.”
“I think we will have to drastically escalate the sanctions we are imposing on Russia for this act of open aggression by the Kremlin dictator,” Schiff added.
Aides to the president continue to parade the impending heavier sentence, but Bloomberg notes that there is skepticism behind the scenes about the White House’s strategy so far.
Excluding military involvement, Biden must now take on the task of proving that sanctions will be enough to deter a major adversary, which has not been proven effective so far.
There are already about 90,000 US troops in Europe, many of whom have been relocated or stationed in NATO’s eastern allies to defend themselves against growing Kremlin aggression.
Russia continues its full-scale attack on Ukraine on Thursday after a report emerged that aides to President Joe Biden knew and warned that sanctions would not prevent President Vladimir Putin from moving forward with the invasion. Photo provided by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense shows burnt Russian military vehicles near Glukhov, Sumy region, Ukraine on Thursday
President Biden met with his National Security Council in the White House Situation Hall on Thursday morning after Russia waged war against Ukraine at night. The president will speak at 1:30 p.m. to update the nation after the full-scale invasion
There are currently approximately 90,000 US troops scattered across Europe, many of them relocating or deploying to the east of the continent to help those counties facing the risk of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – but no US troops stationed directly in Ukraine
Although U.S. officials spent hundreds of hours five months debating and drafting sanctions, at least a dozen current and former U.S. officials said they knew it would do little to deter Putin, but their hands were tied after as Biden ruled out U.S. military action in Ukraine. A man sits in front of his destroyed building after the bombings in the eastern Ukrainian city of Chuguev on Thursday
US troops from the 173rd Army Airborne Brigade arrive in Latvia on Thursday (February 24th) to provide additional assistance to Eastern Europe as Russia launches a full-scale attack on Ukraine.