Erdogan offered to mediate between Moscow and Kiev.. US officials: a Russian plan to fabricate a video and use it as a pretext to invade Ukraine
The New York Times quoted senior US officials as saying that Washington had obtained intelligence that indicated a Russian plan to fabricate a pretext to invade Ukraine.
The newspaper reported that the United States hopes to thwart this plan, which, according to the newspaper, includes filming a fabricated attack by Ukrainian forces on Russian territory or against Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine.
The officials, quoted by The New York Times, added that Moscow intends to use the video to accuse Ukraine of genocide against Russian speakers and justify an attack, or as a platform for separatist leaders in the Donbass region to call on it to intervene.
The Pentagon has also said it believes Russia will produce a propaganda video that includes the bodies of people, actors, and photos of destroyed sites.
In a parallel context, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Rzhenkov said that the number of Russian soldiers on the borders of Ukraine, including Belarus, as well as in the “temporary occupied territories” – as he put it – in the Crimea, Donetsk region and Luhansk is currently estimated at about 115 thousand soldiers.
Ryzenkov also announced the arrival of an American shipment of weapons to the capital, Kiev, the seventh within two weeks, and the third within the past 24 hours.
The Ukrainian Defense Minister revealed that the shipment consists of 85 tons of weapons, ammunition and grenade launchers, describing the arrival of the shipment as “good news”, and considering that the sending of weapons to Kiev must continue.
He explained that the quantity of weapons received by Kiev from Washington amounted to about 600 tons, including “Javlin” anti-tank missiles, and he also talked about Kiev receiving ammunition and weapons from Britain, including “In-Low” anti-armor missiles.
For his part, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed the possibility of Ankara hosting a Ukrainian-Russian summit at the leaders’ level or talks at the technical level, to overcome the current crisis between the two countries.
This came at a joint press conference held with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in the capital, Kiev.
Erdogan reiterated Turkey’s continued support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including the Crimea.
He explained that Turkey is ready to do what is necessary to end the crisis between Ukraine and Russia, which he described as the two friendly countries and neighbors in the Black Sea.