U.S. & NATO Allies Provide Aid to Ukraine Amid Russia’s Military Buildup
Are you concerned about Russia invading Ukraine?
What’s the story?
- The U.S. and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies are increasing shipments of military aid to Ukraine amid Russia’s ongoing military buildup on Ukraine’s borders.
- The news comes as Russia is insisting that NATO provide a legal guarantee Ukraine will never be admitted to the alliance and remove forces from NATO member countries in Central and Eastern Europe like Bulgaria and Romania. The U.S. and NATO have rejected those demands as non-starters and are taking steps to bolster Ukraine’s ability to defend itself and reassure allies in the region.
- Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to the press Friday after a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva, Switzerland. Blinken said he conveyed that the U.S. and its European allies and partners “stand firmly with Ukraine in support of its sovereignty and territorial integrity.” He added:
“We’ve been clear: If any Russian military forces move across Ukraine’s border, that’s a renewed invasion. It will be met with a swift, severe, and a united response from the United States and our partners and allies. We also know from experience that Russia has an extensive playbook of aggression short of military action, including cyber attacks, paramilitary tactics, and other means of advancing their interests aggressively without overtly using military action. Those types of Russian aggression will also be met with a decisive, calibrated, and again, united response.”
- Blinken’s comments specifying that any movement across Ukraine’s border is a renewed invasion come after President Joe Biden had to clean up a similar statement he made during a press conference Wednesday. Biden said Wednesday that, “Russia will be held accountable if it invades. And it depends on what it does. It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and then we end up having a fight about what to do and no do, et cetera.” On Thursday, Biden clarified his remarks by saying:
“If any assembled Russian units move across the Ukrainian border, that is an invasion. And it would be met with severe and coordinated economic response that I’ve discussed in detail with our allies, as well as laid out very clearly for President Putin. But let there be no doubt at all that if Putin makes this choice, Russia will pay a heavy price.”
The Latest on Russia’s Military Buildup
- Over the last several months, Russia has undertaken a significant military buildup on Ukraine’s border with over 100,000 troops in close proximity to the border and more personnel in staging areas where they could quickly be moved to the front. The buildup is larger than what occurred before Russia illegally annexed Crimea from Ukraine and launched an invasion of the Donbas region in 2014, where it still supports a separatist insurgency. The ongoing conflict has led to more than 14,000 deaths to date.
- Russia’s military is also moving troops and advanced equipment, such as its advanced S-400 surface-to-air missile system, into neighboring Belarus for what they say are military exercises. Some of the units have been moved across Russia from bases in Siberia and the country’s Far East to areas near Ukraine. This comes as Russia’s navy is also undertaking notable training exercises: it sent amphibious vessels from its Baltic Fleet into the Mediterranean Sea this week, where they’ll reportedly link up for training with other Russian warships that just completed exercises with ships from the Iranian and Chinese navies in the Gulf of Oman.
- It’s still unclear whether Putin has decided to attack Ukraine, and he has said he has no plans to invade Ukraine. However, the multi-pronged buildup of military assets gives Putin the ability to threaten Ukraine by land from the south via Crimea, from the east via the Donbas, or the north from Belarus; and by sea through an amphibious landing from the Black Sea.
- Russia is reportedly laying the groundwork for a “false flag” operation to use as justification for an attack on Ukraine. The U.S. announced sanctions on Thursday against several Russian-backed officials who were being recruited to undermine Ukraine’s government and to prepare to take over the country’s government and control the country’s critical infrastructure during a Russian occupation.
U.S. & NATO Step Up Military Aid to Ukraine
- The U.S. is shipping more ammunition and lethal military aid to Ukraine and also gave a green-light to NATO allies providing Ukraine with American-made missiles and other equipment typically subject to export control rules.
- The three Baltic states ― Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania ― are sending Javelin anti-tank missiles and Stinger anti-air missiles, among other equipment. Additionally, the United Kingdom has flown “thousands” of anti-tank weapons to Ukraine in an airlift that began earlier this week, an effort that was depicted in a timelapse compiled by the UK Defence Journal.
- The Netherlands offered to provide military aid directly to Ukraine if asked and deployed F-35 fighters to Bulgaria for their first foreign deployment in a show of solidarity. Spain is considering sending jet fighters to Bulgaria as well and is sending warships to the Black Sea and the eastern Mediterranean Sea. France has also offered to send troops to Bulgaria, while Denmark has deployed a warship to the Baltic Sea.
- NATO’s counter-buildup comes as a U.S. Navy carrier strike group centered on the USS Harry S. Truman is operating in the Mediterranean Sea and is set to participate in a NATO exercise that begins Monday.
- U.S. Intel Warns Russia is Prepping ‘False Flag’ Operation as Pretext for Invading Ukraine (1/15/22)
- Biden Tells Ukrainian President the U.S. ‘Will Respond Decisively’ if Russia Invades Further (1/3/22)
- U.S. & NATO Urge Russia to Pull Back From its Military Buildup on Ukraine’s Border (12/3/21)
- Biden Admin Freezes Sale of Lethal Arms to Ukraine Amid Russian Military Buildup (6/18/21)
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Major Neil Penttila, 7th Army Training Command Public Affairs via Flickr / Creative Commons)
Cut Emissions To Save Lives and Catastrophe, Urgently Warns New UN Climate ReportWhat’s the story? A new climate report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says the planet is on read more... Environment
Watch & Comment: TikTok CEO Testifies Before the House Energy and Commerce CommitteeWhat's the story? On March 22, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew is due to appear before Congress to testify on the app's consumer privacy read more... China
Biden Urges Congress to Pass Legislation Regulating BanksWhat’s the story? President Biden has asked Congress to pass legislation granting financial regulators new powers to enforce read more... Deficits & Debt
Lunchables Will Soon Be Sold in School CafeteriasWhat’s the story? Lunchables will be sold in school cafeterias starting this fall as the product is updated to comply with read more... Families
Why? It’s there old country back in 1991, like Texas taking from us oh like now at our southern border! Plz. Democrats need to be removed from the WH. Terrible President and staff all must go. Or you will see WW lll/ sad we have a Brain Dead President—-> idiot
Almost as concerned as with Taiwan.
Policing the world is not America’s job. Focus on defense, diplomacy, and trade. We don’t need another 20 year foreign war.
We are a leading member of NATO. I'm worried that if Russia makes another move of aggressive expansionism we'll have to fight. I'm worried that if we don't fight that NATreatyO won't mean anything.
There is no need for a raid if the US is providing Aide!!
Regarding Ukraine in eastern Europe, it is about time we stop interfering and if anything stop other entities from interfering within the operation of that elected government by its people but like here assist to make sure those elections are fairly run and also they are not. As a result I do not want one US military person placed there in jeopardy over there backing up another manipulated corrupt government and that is the truth. The Kiev capitol has been denying votes of its eastern Provinces since this new inception of government was supported by the US government and its favorable corporate influences and it is as bad there as here.
NATO needs to give military support to the Ukraine, enough to make it impossible for putin to take additional territory! Add antiaircraft, cruise missiles, and whatever necessary to Poland and Ukraine!
Everyone on here is reading US imperialist propaganda so much it’s like they want another war when we just got out of one. Leave Russia alone, we all know Ukraine was even a part of Russia for decades and culturally linked but the US hates its losing so much hegemony to this it is propagating war.
Obviously, it would be horrible if Russia invaded Ukraine, but I am deeply suspicious of US officials' motivations for getting so heavily involved. Historically speaking, the US just doesn't take military actions for altruistic reasons.
Let Europe handle it
I am frankly more concerned with the invasion at our southern border and find it amusing that Biden, the Obama-like tough talking paper tiger, is bumbling around with no definitive position. Coupled with the fact our Defense Secretary and Chairman of JCS are more interested in diversity and inclusion training I don't see us getting involved. Our military is currently not fit for a conflict on foreign soil. See the results of Afghanistan as supporting evidence. Let's secure our own borders and roundup all of the illegals that the Harris-Biden regime let loose across the country.
Plain and simple! We have the weakest president ever! All foreign leaders know it. Our allies know it and don’t trust what he’ll say or do. One example, “Afghanistan”! Do I need to explain? Our adversaries know it, giving his blessing for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia through Germany. Helping to start this invasion more sooner than later. Allowing Germany and European countries to have to rely on Russia for oil instead of us. Closing OUR pipeline on his first day in office when we were FINALLY energy independent for the first time in 40 years, and now having to buy some of our oil from Russia! Russia!!! Which isn’t very clean. How does that make sense? Or China, now threatening Taiwan with military flyovers and other things and threatening other countries around them. As well as his weakness with them on everything else they’ve always done to us from manufacturing to technology. And now Russia is having military exercises in the Mediterranean Sea with China and Iran. Gee … what a coincidence! Say what you want about President Trump. But he kept all countries, good or bad, on there toes. They may not have liked him because of his bluntness and not being an appeasing politician. But they knew he meant what he said and would back it up if they didn’t believe him. Instead, there scratching there heads at Joe Biden trying to figure out What he said or if he was even going to finish a sentence. Or telling the world, referring to Russia, “It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion”, or last year telling Putin, “I gave him a list of 16 things not to touch”! There’s something wrong with you if that doesn’t at the very least, make you a LITTLE nervous. Hae pal … you might be good ole uncle Joe who pats you on the back, goes for ice cream, tells you a story and talks a good talk. But your Not someone capable of protecting a nation. Not the border, not COVID, not the economy. I can only hope and pray that President Trump becomes president again or at the very least republicans, whoever it is, can come into power again. You Democrats may feel safe with an inept president but I don’t. Your the reason this country has gone to hell from defunding the police to the economy. But that’s a long story for another day!
We should support Ukraine fully. This GOP Putin spin is beyond ANYTHING I thought y’all were capable of. Even you Ted! That says a LOT about how low the bar is here for suburban housewife problems!
Please start sanctions against Russia now before anything bad happens! Turn the Swift off and freeze bunker’s rat (Putin) accounts in Europe and US! Don’t play nice with the freaking gang!
I think US and NATO response has been measured and appropriate so far. We must support the citizens of Crimea and Ukraine.
I must say again that I am steadfastly against any moves towards military conflict in Ukraine. I implore my representatives to take a similar stand, as they have been doing on this subject (military spending and warmongering) for quite some time now. It is sheer madness to promote a war between the US and Russia, or make any moves that might give impression. As I’ve said before, NATO should be disbanded, or at the very least, the US should take itself out of it. Russia’s demands about removing the countries around it from NATO or bases for NATO is reasonable, no matter what you think about Putin. If this were centered on a country adjacent to us (the US), we would demand the same. I’m deeply saddened by the lack of outrage in America over this. The country has been solidly for peace for decades now (the majority of citizens, not the government). We need to make our voices known for peace now. It’s one thing warmongering against non-nuclear states, but advocating for military solutions when directly dealing with a nuclear state is insane. I hope more sane voices in leadership positions are heard soon. If not, I fear that the pandemic will just be the opening act of the end of the world.
More concerned about the invasion happening at the US border. What strategic importance is Ukraine? Would the US be okay with Russia having troops in Panama?
I am very very concerned for my friend and his wife and newborn son. He went back to Ukraine to return his grandparent's ashes. He was born there but his family came to America when he was in kindergarten. While getting reacquainted with his cousins he met his future wife. She can't get a visa for years.
We do not need another war. Period!
Yes, very concerned about Russia's aggression. However, more concerned about what information our former President gave Putin to keep himself in power or to burn down the US because he lost. Listening to Maddow tonight I truly fear the worst from the former guy and his party.