Failed predictions that Russia would invade Ukraine on February 16 were unrealistic, and the key date to focus on is actually February 20, US political analysts have claimed, accusing “hype” for leading US officials to focus on the wrong date.
Earlier this month, multiple Western media claimed that Russia was planning to invade Ukraine in the early hours of Wednesday, citing claims by unnamed officials that US President Joe Biden had warned members of the bloc of the NATO that an invasion was imminent. This date passed uneventfully.
Yet, according to analysts who spoke to Politico, the obsession around February 16”diverted attention from the actual key dates. The real time to focus on begins on Sunday, they claimed.
“After February 20 has always been the most important time,” said Michael Kofman, a military expert with the US think tank CNA, an organization that works directly with the US government and many of its agencies.
February 20 is the scheduled end date of the joint Russian-Belarusian military training exercises, which took place this month on the territory of Belarus, near the Ukrainian border. Today is also the final day of the Beijing Winter Olympics, as well as the final session of the Munich Security Conference, which Russia said last week it had no official intention of. to attend it.
According to Kofman, the end of these exercises, dubbed “Union Resolve”, will be a better indicator of the Kremlin’s military intentions. If soldiers and equipment remain at the border, it could indicate potential plans to invade Ukraine.
“It’s a useful date to see if they are lying or not”, Kofman said. US allegations of a possible Russian attack on Sunday were met with contempt by Moscow. “yet another fake.”
Two days earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry had announced that a large number of soldiers were withdrawing from their deployments to their bases, as training exercises drew to a close.
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