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The US Government has warned Ukraine that the latest intelligence points to a full-scale attack by Russia “imminently”. The invasion, which is predicted to take place within the next 48 hours, could strike the northeastern city of Kharkiv. “The President of Ukraine has been warned Russia will highly likely begin an invasion within 48 hours based on U.S. intelligence,” a US official told Newsweek.
“Additionally, reporting from aircraft observers indicates Russia violated Ukrainian airspace earlier today, flying possible reconnaissance aircraft for a short period over Ukraine,” the US official added.
The Pentagon’s assessment reportedly includes Russian airstrikes, cruise missiles and a ground invasion.
A second US official told the outlet that the operation would begin with a cyberattack, followed by a ground invasion that would likely occur at night.
Both officials pointed out that Russia’s plans could change based on daily developments.
On Wednesday, Ukrainian government websites and banks were down after a massive cyberattack.
Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation, said government websites are the result of a “new mass distributed denial-of-service attack.”
It is currently unclear who is behind the cyber intrusion.
Meanwhile, Russian troops have mobilised and have now entered the eastern region of Ukraine that Russia has recognized as “independent,” Latvian Prime Minister Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš told CNN.
He said: “According to the information at my disposal, Putin is moving additional forces and tanks into the occupied Donbas territories.
“By any definition that’s a crossing of a sovereign territory into a neighboring country.”
The intelligence comes less than a day after President Biden declared: “This is the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine”.
There would be no reason for Russia to move “blood and medical supplies” to the border if it did not intend a full-scale military assault, Mr Biden said in a dramatic address to the nation.
Commenting on Russian President Vladimir Putin formally recognising two Ukrainian regions as “independent”, President Biden said: “Who in the Lord’s name does Putin think gives him the right to declare new so-called countries on territory that belong to his neighbours?
“This is a flagrant violation of international law and demands a firm response from the international community.”
Russia warned there would be a “painful” response to tough sanctions imposed by the West.
The Ukrainian Security Council declared a nationwide state of emergency on Wednesday as Russian President Vladimir Putin boasted of the battle-readiness of Russia’s armed forces.
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