View all newsletters
Sign up to our newsletters

Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. World
  2. Europe
14 February 2022

The US warns that Europe is on the brink of war

Several Western countries have urged their citizens to immediately leave Ukraine amid warnings of an imminent Russian attack.

By Ido Vock

BERLIN – According to officials, US intelligence indicates that Russia may invade Ukraine at any time in the coming days, including before the end of the Winter Olympics, which close on Sunday 20 February. The US, along with several others including Israel and Germany, has urged its nationals to immediately leave Ukraine, saying it will not be able to evacuate them in case of a Russian attack. Some sources report 16 February as the date Joe Biden, the US president, told allies that Russia could attack its neighbour.

The US believes a Russian assault could be aimed at the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, in an attempt to force regime change in the country. The Russian and Belarusian militaries are currently conducting joint exercises in Belarus, leading to what officials in the Baltic countries last week told me is an “unprecedented” Russian military presence in its smaller neighbour. 

On 12 February, Biden spoke with the Russian president Vladimir Putin in an attempt to impress on him what he said would be the high costs of an invasion. These costs would be mostly economic and political, as Biden and leaders of other Nato countries have made clear that they will not fight to defend Ukraine, which is not a member of the alliance. 

As ever, though, Ukrainian views on the imminence of an invasion continue to differ from the US’s assessment. Four analysts from the Center for Defence Strategies, a Kyiv-based think tank, argue that the forces Russia has massed at the border, now numbering around 147,000, are insufficient for a wholesale invasion of part or the whole of the country. More likely, they say, is an escalation in eastern Ukraine, possibly acting as a trigger for the official entry of Russian troops into the Donbas. 

Meanwhile, Olaf Scholz, the German chancellor, will be in Kyiv today for talks with Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president. From there, he will travel to Moscow tomorrow to meet with Putin. If war does break out this week, Scholz may be the last Western leader who will be able to meet with Putin to attempt to dissuade him from an assault on Ukraine. 

We will find out within days if the US’s assessment is right. 

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

Content from our partners
Unlocking the potential of a national asset, St Pancras International
Time for Labour to turn the tide on children’s health
How can we deliver better rail journeys for customers?

Topics in this article : , ,
Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU