President Joe Biden stated on Tuesday that the Russian populace does not desire a “bloody and destructive war against Ukraine,” and that diplomatic solutions to the Eastern European impasse are still possible to Russian officials.
“While I will not deploy American troops to fight in Ukraine, we have provided the Ukrainian military with tools to help them defend themselves,” Biden said in a White House address. “We’ve contributed training, advise, and information for the same purpose.” “And make no mistake, the United States will defend every inch of NATO territory with the full weight of American strength,” he added.
In recent weeks, the White House has directed the deployment of some 3,000 American troops to the region as a show of force. Biden’s remarks on Tuesday come amid contradictory reports of Russian military operations near Ukraine’s border.
Earlier in the day, Russian officials said that some units engaged in military drills in the area would begin returning to their bases.
“We have yet to confirm that Russian military forces are returning to their home bases,” Biden added. “Indeed, our analysis indicate that they remain in a very dangerous situation.” And the truth is that Russia currently has over 150,000 troops around Ukraine, Belarus, and along Ukraine’s border, and an invasion remains a distinct possibility.”
A huge hack also attacked the websites of multiple Ukrainian government organizations and banks on Tuesday, but White House and Pentagon officials would to say whether information indicated a link between those activities and Russian forces.
Biden welcomed unsubstantiated claims of Russian forces being redeployed to other places, but warned that Russia’s military “remains in a menacing position” in Ukraine.
“Nations have the right to sovereignty and territorial integrity,” added Biden. “They have the flexibility to chart their own route and pick who they associate with, but there is still plenty of potential for diplomacy and de-escalation.” “We will continue our diplomatic efforts in close cooperation with our friends and partners,” we believe is the best path ahead for all parties. We shall pursue diplomatic resolutions as long as there is chance of avoiding the use of war and the enormous human suffering that would result.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin has maintained publicly that he has no ambitions to invade Ukraine, seeing the military display as a response to escalating NATO threats in the region.
Biden disregarded those reasons, blaming the region’s tensions on Russia’s choice to invade and occupy Crimea in 2014.
“If Russia does invade in the next days and weeks, the human consequences for Ukraine will be enormous, as would the human costs for Russia,” Biden said. “It will be welcomed with an outpouring of international outrage.” The world will never forget Russia’s decision to choose unnecessary death and ruin.”
Officials from the White House have once again encouraged all US citizens in Ukraine to leave the country as soon as possible in order to avoid getting caught in the crossfire if an invasion occurs.
The US Embassy in Ukraine has been relocated from Kyiv to Lviv, near the country’s border with Poland, in recent days, according to State Department officials.