Russia Made False Claims About Troop Levels, US Official Confirms

Russia Made False Claims About Troop Levels, US Official Confirms

( – Ukrainian, European, and American officials recently expressed skepticism about Russia’s claims it was withdrawing troops from its border with Ukraine. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters that observers could not confirm the withdrawal of any forces, and top American diplomats echoed that assertion. As it turns out, they were correct.

On Wednesday, February 16, an unnamed senior White House official told reporters the administration could now confirm Russia’s claim “was false.” The official said Russia not only lied about reducing its troop levels, it recently increased them by as many as 7,000 additional soldiers.

Making matters worse, Russian military officials have staged well over 150,000 troops near its border with Ukraine, and the White House official confirmed that Russia could invade Ukraine using a “false [pretext] at any moment.”

On Thursday, February 17, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told the UN Security Council that Russia needs to announce that it won’t invade Ukraine without putting any conditions on the declaration. He said, “State it clearly, state it plainly to the world and then demonstrate it by sending your troops, your tanks, your planes back to their barracks and hangers and sending your diplomats to the negotiating table.”

Blinken added that the world would always remember the decision Russia chooses to make.

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