Ukraine, now days away from an “all-out attack”?

The United States and NATO see an imminent invasion by Vladimir Putin’s Army. The crisis worsens.

On the streets of Kiev every day there are more Ukrainian flags hoisted on the facades of buildings. The blue and yellow banner is waved in the capital that experiences a nationalism that does not stop growing in the face of that risk that the United States mentions so much that Russia enters militarily – again – and takes a piece of land, as it did in 2014 with Crimea and Sevastopol.

In the absence of a single story about what happens in Eastern Europe, on the borders of that country that border Russia, Belarus and the European Union, there are as many versions as there are nations in the region and as many days have passed on the calendar, that started by counting down to November for the much-cited invasion that hasn’t happened. It is also not known if it will happen, much less what would happen next.

The news about that convulsive border moves like the soldiers of one flank and another in the military bases of the world. In a move to show off his armed capabilities, Vladimir Putin conducted missile launch tests yesterday. In simple terms, shots that have the ability to cross from one continent to another, whose margin of influence is much wider than neighboring Ukraine and that have a nuclear component.

In the cities of Donetsk and Lugansk, located in the Donbas region, an area occupied by pro-Russian separatists and which has been fighting for eight years, armed groups are evacuating the population, assuring that there will be an attack from Ukraine.

The factions close to Russia ask for a withdrawal from the place and the West also asks its citizens to leave the area, as Colombia already did with 34 compatriots, arguing that an invasion could take place.

Not everyone pays attention to the calls from their embassies and one of those people is Joaquín Carbonell, a Spaniard who was summoned to return home, but decided to stay in Kiev convinced that nothing is going to happen.

lined up for war

Between nuclear launches by Russia, nationalist marches in Ukraine and a gathering of powers at the Munich Security Conference – which is being held these days without the presence of Vladimir Putin – Ukraine is entering a crucial week to resolve, or worsen, the tensions.

“We are yet to see whether or not there will be a war and I think that will not happen. Really, we can only rely on the prudence of world leaders, “says the Russian internationalist Vladimir Rouvinski.

The Western narrative of the “imminent” invasion of Ukraine from Russia began in November when the Kremlin announced multiple military exercises on the border and in its friendly territory, Belarus. Since then, the allies – the United States, the European Union, NATO and others – have made calculations of the time, manner and place of the attack.

Beads touch troops. The White House began by saying that the Kremlin had 100,000 soldiers concentrated in the border area and the deductions made by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe already raise that number to between 169,000 and 190,000 soldiers. Yesterday the head of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, assured that Russia is preparing an “all-out attack” against Ukraine. The antithesis of those figures is given by Moscow claiming that it is in the midst of a withdrawal.

If these numbers are true, the statement that it is the “largest military mobilization in Europe since World War II” would not be unreasonable, as the head of that institution, Michael Carpenter, has said. For his part, US President Joe Biden is convinced that Kiev will be the target of the assault.

The theory of an “imminent” attack, which would take place in the “next few weeks or days”, which had been set for the first days of January, then for February 16 and now is framed in a “soon” because , asserts Biden, “Putin has made the decision to invade Ukraine”, he maintains.

As the urgent alert continues, there is a crucial appointment to be made this week. Anthony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, and his Russian counterpart, Sergev Lavrov, will meet on Thursday to deal, once again, with this crisis that is about to adjust for four months without finding a solution.

eternal tension

The prelude to this situation was an open letter from Vladimir Putin in which he demanded a repertoire of security guarantees – that the United States and NATO move their bases, that Georgia and Ukraine never join that Transatlantic Alliance and that geopolitical borders return to the limits of 1997–. About that string of claims there is only noise.

The Kremlin assured that Kiev had yielded to the demand to pause its entry into NATO, but on Saturday President Volodímir Zelensky himself asked from the Munich Security Conference that a clear timetable be formulated for his country’s entry into the military organization. The United States and NATO do not give up their intention to expand the areas in which they have influence and Russia, much less, gives up its goal that the territories that once belonged to the Soviet Union remain within its zone of influence.

Those nations with 30 years and a few months of existence frame the geopolitical dispute of an international order that accommodates itself and that moves thousands of troops. The United States has 80,000 soldiers stationed in Europe, sent another 6,000 to that continent and 8,500 are kept on guard at the Pentagon. At the same time, Russia deploys its own on the borders and in Belarus, and the European Union sends weapons.

With all these accounts, the rhetoric of war persists and will continue for a few more weeks. There is a reality that is above the fear of a conflict and gives a certain confidence in the international system: Biden, Putin and Zelensky insist that the diplomatic path is maintained


thousand soldiers would have Russia on the borders of Ukraine, according to the OSCE.