Ukraine-Russia escalation: Chronicle live

Photo by Al Jazeera

Oleksiy Matsuka, journalist and acting editor-in-chief of the TV channels “Multimedia Platform of Foreign Broadcasting of Ukraine” (UATV and Dom TV channels) took stock of the Saturday, February 12, – extremely eventful day in the recent phase of Russia-Ukraine escalation.

Ukraine’s President Zelensky discussed with Canada’s PM Trudeau the issue of de-escalation in Ukraine. Kyiv welcomes Canada’s financial aid on strengthening Ukraine’s defense capability.

French President Macron discussed possible Russia’s threats to Kyiv with his Ukrainian counterpart and German Chancellor Scholz. In addition, Zelensky and Macron exchanged views on recent international negotiations

President Macron also discussed with his Russian counterpart ways of implementing Minsk agreements and security conditions in Europe.

US President Biden warned Putin of ‘swift and severe costs’ amid fears of imminent Ukraine invasion. Biden told Putin that the U.S. and its allies and partners “will respond decisively and impose swift and severe costs” should Moscow move on its neighbor, the White House said.

Council of the European Union said on Saturday that “diplomatic missions are not closing” in Kyiv, despite what U.S. officials signal is an increasingly likely possibility that Russia will invade the neighboring country.

Heads of the Ukrainian parliament and Government urged Ukrainians to avoid panic and to trust the Armed Forces of Ukraine and diplomats. Find out the corresponding video here. The adviser to the head of the Office of the President assured that next week, a real approach to de-escalation is expected to take place.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov by phone to discuss acute and shared concerns that Russia may be considering launching further military aggression against Ukraine in the coming days. The Secretary made clear that a diplomatic path to resolving the crisis remained open, but it would require Moscow to deescalate and engage in good-faith discussions.

Ukraine’s and Moldova’s Foreign Ministers discussed the security situation in the Transnistrian region and Russian threats to Ukraine’s security from the direction of unrecognized territories.

The Pentagon is pulling nearly 160 members of the Florida National Guard from Ukraine as top U.S. officials publicly warned a Russian invasion could be imminent – Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered a “temporary” repositioning of the members of the Florida Army National Guard to “elsewhere in Europe,” Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said in a statement.

Read also: US suspending consular services in Ukraine, withdrawing part of diplomats

The official statement by Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense: Ukrainian army is completely ready to fight back and will not forfeit one grain of Ukrainian soil. In addition, Ukraine’s Armed Forces did not carry out any shelling, including in the direction of Donetsk. As reported by witnesses and media, a massive explosion rocked occupied Donetsk on February 12.

Read also: Ukraine received 1,300 tons of US military aid in 2022

All these events took place amid the US has warned of the “very distinct possibility” of a Russian invasion of Ukraine in the next few days, potentially involving an overwhelming attack on Kyiv, and told all remaining Americans to leave the country in the next 48 hours. New US intelligence suggests Russia could intend to attack Ukraine before the end of the Olympics (February 20). The White House believes air attacks are likely first.

Russian President Putin gave no indication in a phone call with his French counterpart Macron that he was preparing to invade Ukraine, a French presidency official said on February 12.

Read also: Ukraine holds late Friday talks with US, Germany, EU amid new risks of Russian invasion