Biden says Zelensky, Ukraine “didn’t want to hear” US warnings of Russian invasion

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President Biden mentioned Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “did not wish to hear it” when US intelligence officers raised warnings of an imminent Russian assault earlier than the invasion on February 24, in keeping with the Related Press.

Biden, who with Congress has deepened American involvement within the world effort to reject the Russian invasion by finishing greater than $40 billion in new navy and humanitarian support, spoke at a fundraising occasion for Democrats in Los Angeles Friday evening, in keeping with the AP And the Bloomberg Information. The president spoke of the US dedication to assist Ukraine 4 months after the invasion, saying, “Nothing like this has occurred since World Struggle II.”

Throughout his speech, Biden additionally acknowledged that his administration had warned Zelensky and the Ukrainian authorities, based mostly on US intelligence, earlier than the invasion started.

“I do know lots of people thought I may be exaggerating,” the president mentioned, in keeping with the Related Press.

Biden mentioned he “knew we had knowledge to again it up” that Russian President Vladimir Putin would “go off limits.”

“There was little question, and Zelensky did not wish to hear it, and never many individuals did,” Biden mentioned, in keeping with Bloomberg. “I perceive why they did not wish to hear that, however [Putin] went in.”

However Ukrainian officers dismissed Biden’s account.

Serhiy Nikiforov, spokesman for Zelensky, Inform Ukrainian information web site LIGA.web reported that Zelensky had three or 4 cellphone conversations with Biden within the run-up to the invasion, through which the 2 leaders mentioned the state of affairs. He added that Ukraine had referred to as for preventive sanctions to calm the state of affairs.

Subsequently, the phrase “I don’t wish to hear” most likely wants clarification,” mentioned Nikiforov.

Zelensky’s advisor, Mikhailo Podolyak, echoed Nikiforov’s phrases LIGA.web Ukraine knew that Russia was planning an invasion, however these questions remained above the size of any assault.

“It’s absurd to accuse a rustic of resisting the aggressor for greater than 100 days, which prevails if main nations fail to cease Russia as a precaution,” he mentioned.

The White Home didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark early Saturday.

Biden’s feedback come at a time when Ukraine is on the breaking point Lack of the japanese area of Luhansk to Russia, warning that its superior military was in dire want of quicker Western arms shipments. The governor of Luhansk metropolis mentioned Saturday that fierce avenue combating continues within the strategic metropolis of Severodonetsk, however that “many of the metropolis is managed by the Russians.”

Governor says Russia controls most of Severodonetsk

Kyiv’s European allies have pledged to ramp up navy support – as much as the identical quantity seems hesitant About Ukraine’s bid for EU membership. European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen arrived in Kyiv on Saturday to debate Ukraine’s candidacy for the European Union with Zelensky forward of an anticipated suggestion from the Fee on Ukraine’s standing subsequent week.

With america and its allies targeted on planning an extended battle in Ukraine, Biden made no secret that Individuals would proceed to assist Zelensky and the Ukrainian folks with support and weapons. Senate lately Handed efficiently The invoice contains $20 billion in navy support and is predicted to fund the switch of superior weapons techniques, equivalent to Patriot anti-aircraft missiles and long-range artillery. Greater than $8 billion typically financial assist to Ukraine, about $5 billion in world meals support to deal with potential meals shortages attributable to the collapse of Ukraine’s agricultural financial system, and greater than $1 billion in mixed assist for refugees are additionally included.

US deepens Ukraine’s dedication to $40 billion in support and NATO growth

Biden lately confirmed that his administration was sending superior medium-range missile techniques to Ukraine, in response to a The very best request of Ukrainian officers Who say that weapons are essential to cease the advance of Russian forces within the east. Biden’s announcement sparked an indignant response from Kremlin officers, who mentioned they “imagine america intentionally and diligently” poured gasoline on the fireplace.”

Biden confirms that america is sending superior missile techniques to Ukraine

However earlier than the invasion, some puzzled if Zelensky was prepared for the Russian assault.

As senior US and European officers sounded the alarm in January that Putin may ship troops and tanks throughout the border, The Ukrainian chief had referred to as for calm He appealed to his compatriots to not give in to panic. Zelensky has mentioned – repeatedly – that he’s not satisfied {that a} Russian assault is imminent.

“Take a breath,” he mentioned in a video posted on his official web site on January 19. “simply chill”.

In acknowledging a potential Russian assault earlier this 12 months, Zelensky tried to keep away from “panic within the markets and panic within the monetary sector,” as he put it, understanding {that a} potential battle could be worrying for the Ukrainian financial system.

On Friday night, Biden once more criticized Putin, who he blamed on some historic inflation in america. Biden accused the Russian president of “making an attempt to obliterate… [Ukrainian] Tradition, not simply the nation, however the tradition,” in keeping with Bloomberg.

Podolak mentioned Interfax The Ukrainian authorities acknowledged the opportunity of the invasion.

“Ukraine understood the intentions of the Russians, foresaw one or one other aggressive state of affairs, and ready for it,” he mentioned.

He added that Zelensky had “high-quality intelligence” earlier than the invasion and that the size of the assault stunned not solely Ukraine however the world.

The President has additionally responded fastidiously to all our companions’ phrases and warnings. The query was all the time what would the scope of the invasion be? “Undoubtedly, the size of the invasion, which we witnessed on February 24, shocked many nations, together with our companions,” Podolak mentioned.