Ukraine Crisis Latest: Biden Says Not Wise For Zelensky To Leave Amid Russia Threat; Ceasefire Violations Rise In Eastern Regions

The instances of shelling across Ukraine’s eastern regions, where the pro-Russian separatists rule the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, have raised concerns that despite some signs of drawdown tensions continue to be heightened between Russia and Ukraine. The US president Joe Biden in his remarks on Friday said he still believes Russia will invade Ukraine and reiterated that Kyiv will fall to Russia when it invades.

“We believe they will target Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, a city of 2.8 million innocent people,” Biden was quoted as saying by news agencies. “As of this moment, I am convinced that Vladimir Putin has made the decision to invade Ukraine. We have reason to believe that,” Biden said.

Biden further raised concerns regarding his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky’s plans to travel to this week’s Munich Security Conference while the chances of an invasion are high. “In the pursuit of a diplomatic solution, it may not be, it may be the wise choice. But it’s his decision,” Biden was quoted as saying by news agency AFP.

The US department of defence said that 40% of Russia’s troops are now in position for attack. Despite Russia withdrawing some units last week, the US says that it has positioned 150,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders. “40-50% are in an attack position. They have uncoiled in tactical assembly in the last 48 hours,” an official familiar with the developments told news agency AFP.

Meanwhile, the Organization for Security and Co-operation (OSCE) said that it has seen a rise in ceasefire violations across eastern Ukraine. “In recent days, the OSCE Special Monitoring to Ukraine (SMM) has observed a dramatic increase in kinetic activity along the contact line in eastern Ukraine,” observers from the OSCE said highlighting that the number of ceasefire violations was equal to those reported in July 2020 agreement just when agreements were signed to make the ceasefire stronger.

Along with Russian forces, Ukraine faces militia from separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk who hold those regions in the eastern part of the country. There were several instances of shelling in those regions earlier this week.

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