Fears grow in the West of a false “pretext” for Russia to invade Ukraine

The United States and NATO stir up the possibility of a false flag operation as ‘casus belli’

MADRID, Feb. 17 (Royals Blue) –

The withdrawal of troops announced by Moscow on the borders of Ukraine has not finished convincing Western countries which, led by the United States, have questioned Russia’s alleged good faith. In fact, in the last few hours, messages warning of an imminent invasion have grown again, which, according to several governments, would begin with a “pretext” of dubious veracity.

The Russian authorities, led by President Vladimir Putin, have always denied that they intend to invade Ukrainian territory, despite having accumulated some 130,000 troops near the border, according to the United States and its international partners, without a valid reason that justifies it. The successive military maneuvers, some of them in Belarus, have not helped to allay these suspicions.

The ‘casus belli’ would be missing, that is, the reason that would allow Moscow to somehow justify a military intervention in a foreign country, even if it was in the territory controlled by its separatist allies in eastern Ukraine, in the Donbas region.

The president of the United States, Joe Biden, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, and the secretary general of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, among other leaders, have expressed their concern about the possibility that there is a “operation of false flag”, a term used historically in conflicts and with which it refers to covert activities to make it appear what it is not.

According to this theory, Moscow would organize some type of action attributable to the Ukrainian forces or their allies to immediately take the step and proceed with the invasion. Biden has assured that “all indications” point to the invasion could come “in the next few days” and, despite the Russian government’s statements, he has indicated that the risk remains “very high” in the area.

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In recent hours, the Armed Forces loyal to Kiev and the pro-Russian rebels have accused each other of violating the ceasefire that is theoretically in force. The Ukrainian Army has reported thirty attacks, including one in a nursery school that has resulted in injuries to two members of the teaching staff.

US concern has increased in recent hours, especially after the Russian delegation to the UN released a document with controversial information about what was happening in Ukraine. Sources from the Biden Administration cited by CNN believe they are trying to “establish a pretext for a potential invasion.”

Putin already denounced this week that a “genocide” was being committed in eastern Ukraine and, according to Washington, his envoys to the UN have returned to the fray denouncing that war crimes are being committed. “All the accusations are categorically false”, the North American sources have sentenced.

The concern is such that the Secretary of State of the United States, Antony Blinken, has assumed by surprise the speech of his government at the meeting convened this Thursday by the United Nations Security Council.

THE ROLE OF NATO

The United States also fears that the pretext to which Russia may allude to make a move could come from outside Ukraine, for example linked to NATO activities.

In its response this Thursday to the US government’s proposals to lower tensions, the Russian Foreign Ministry has elaborated precisely on the fact that the “increasing” military activity of the United States and NATO near Russia is “alarming”, while the ‘ Russia’s red lines’ and their “core” security interests, as well as Russia’s “sovereign right” to protect them, “continue to be ignored”.

Moscow defends its transparency –in fact, it has justified the need to publish its response so as not to give fuel to “lies and crude propaganda”–, but in the West they doubt its true intentions. However, the Atlantic Alliance agrees with Washington that there are no indications that Moscow is actually beginning to withdraw troops.

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“There is no clarity but we know that Russia has concentrated the largest number of forces we have seen in decades in Europe and that a lot of Russian intelligence is present in Donbas,” NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said, coinciding with a meeting of defense ministers. He also perceives “attempts to create a pretext, false flag operations, to give an excuse to invade Ukraine.”

The heads of state and government of the EU have held an informal meeting this Thursday focused on the Ukrainian crisis and after which the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, has insisted that the bloc remains “firm” and united.

The High Representative for Foreign Policy of the EU, Josep Borrell, has expressed his concern about the clashes and bombings in Donbas, anticipating that there will be “very harsh” sanctions in the event of a Russian attack, despite the fact that all Western actors publicly insist in which diplomacy continues to be the first and, for now, the only way to reduce tensions.

“In the last few hours there have been heavy clashes, bombings and fighting and we have noticed many cases of misinformation from Russian websites to create the atmosphere that there is an alleged attack against the Russian people in this part of Ukraine,” Borrell told reporters. .

Meanwhile, Moscow insists on its denials in the face of international suspicion. The text delivered to Washington this Thursday reflects again that “there is no Russian invasion of Ukraine nor is it planned”, so the “declarations about Russia’s responsibility in the escalation cannot be considered in any other way than as an attempt to pressure and devalue proposals for security guarantees”.

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