Pro Russia separatists have started evacuating civilians from regions of eastern Ukraine as air raid sirens sounded there today, raising fears that Vladimir Putin was about to summon his armies across the border and spark a bloody battle.
Denis Pushilin, head of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk, and Leonid Pasechniky, head of the Luhansk People’s Republic, said women, children and the elderly will be evacuated starting today in order to protect them from what they claimed would be a Ukrainian attack.
Ukraine’s defence minister Dmytro Kuleba categorically repudiated that Ukraine is about to evade. The announcement was thought to be another disinformation effort orchestrated out of Moscow to mask Vladimir Putin’s own invasion strategies and provide a pretext for the invasion.
Wearing military clothing instead of his usual suit and tie, Pushilin gave a televised talk in which he said that the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky will soon give an order to the military to go on the offensive, and that therefore, from today, February 18, a mass centralised departure of the population to the Russian Federation had been organised, and that they kindly ask people to listen and make the right decision. Russian TV stations then started broadcasting what they claimed were leaked Ukrainian battle strategies.
Earlier in the day, rebel forces claimed to have foiled a sabotage attack earlier in the day by Ukrainian forces, including Polish nationals, on chlorine tanks. The US had warned just the day before that rebels might stage a faked chemical weapons attack.
There are now believed to be up to 190,000 Russian soldiers backed by tanks, artillery, helicopters, fighter jets and missile batteries within reaching distance of Ukraine as Vladimir Putin prepares to personally oversee nuclear missile exercises that will take place tomorrow.
Moscow says the exercises will involve the live-fire of ballistics and cruise missiles as part of a wide-reaching readiness check of the country’s nuclear and non-nuclear forces, but it’s feared the drill, which Moscow insists has been planned for a while, will provide cover for an attack, with a missile barrage likely to be the Kremlin’s first move.
It comes as defence ministers assembled in Munich for a security meeting that will begin today and continue over the weekend aimed at averting war in Ukraine. Russia won’t send a delegation to the summit, marking the first time in years that it’s not attended.
As ordinary citizens, we know little of what goes on around us at the higher levels of government, let alone those that run those governments, their adversaries or associates, and what we see and get told is nothing near to what’s really going on behind the scenes because it’s the elite and their masters that shape our fate, and we’re just the pawns in a huge game of geopolitical chess, and I really feel sad for all the people that will be caught up in this.
Many ordinary citizens will be caught up in this. Innocent soldiers will be caught up in this, but those who profit politically or financially will be safe, as usual.
This is extremely sad – absolutely heartbreaking because war has never solved any of our problems, it’s only exasperated them, and war always starts from one person or people to impose their will on others where lives are lost and can never be recovered, and those people that start these wars always hide at home and send everyone else’s children to die, they never pick up a weapon themselves or send in their own children.