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National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday he could not know for sure what would happen in Ukraine, but described how a possible Russian invasion would play out if it were to happen.
“If there is a military invasion of Ukraine by Russia, it will likely start with a heavy barrage of missiles and bombings,” Sullivan said. “These are never as accurate as an army would want them to be, and we don’t even know how accurate the Russian military would want them to be, so that innocent civilians could be killed regardless of their nationality. .”
PENTAGON SPOX SAYS THREAT OF RUSSIAN SANCTIONS HAS ‘CHILLING EFFECT’, BUT ADMITS INVASION COULD BE ‘WITHIN DAYS’
During a CNN “State of the Union” interview, Sullivan went on to predict that there would be a “ground force assault crossing the Ukrainian border” after the bombings took place. they were happening, adding that civilians could be caught in the crossfire if this invasion takes place.
“We will defend NATO territory,” Sullivan said. “We will impose costs on Russia and we will ensure that we emerge from this as a stronger, more determined, more resolute West than we have been in 30 years, and that Russia ultimately suffers a significant strategic cost for military action.”
Sullivan said the Biden administration couldn’t “perfectly predict” what day Russia would invade Ukraine, but said it could start “any day now,” saying the way Russia has “strengthened her forces” and “the way she maneuvered things into place, it’s possible there will be major military action very soon.”
Sullivan also reiterated a warning from the Biden administration to American citizens in Ukraine, telling them to leave Ukraine “immediately” and that there will be no military evacuation. The State Department said Saturday the Americans should escape through Poland.
Earlier this morning, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told “Fox News Sunday” that intelligence shows Russia could stage an invasion “any day now”, if not sooner. He also said the United States would not impose sanctions on Russia before any possible invasion of Ukraine, adding that the threat of sanctions had a “chilling effect” that would be lost once the sanctions were issued.
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“If it’s a deterrent and you use it before the assault is done or the transgression is done, then you lose your deterrent effect,” Kirby said. “If you’re punishing someone for something they haven’t done yet, then you might as well go ahead and do it. So we think there’s a chilling effect in keeping it in reserve and we have been very clear with the international community and with Mr. Putin about the seriousness of the economic consequences he could face.
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.