Monday, June 5

Russia-Ukraine: Blinken says ‘this a moment of peril for lives, safety of millions’: LIVE UPDATES

29 ceasefire violations reported overnight in Ukraine

Fox News’ Trey Yingst reports on the escalating tension as Russia deploys 7,000 additional troops.

Blinken calls out Russian government to vow no invasion of Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday that “the Russian
government can announce today with no qualification, equivocation or deflection that Russia will not invade Ukraine.  

“State it clearly, state it plainly to the world and then demonstrate it by sending your troops, your tanks, your planes back to their barracks and hangers and sending your diplomats to the negotiating table,” Blinken told the U.N. Security Council during a meeting in New York City. 

“In the coming days, the world will remember that commitment or the refusal to make it,” Blinken also said, hours after Biden told reporters that he believes a Russian invasion of the Eastern European country “will happen in the next several days.” 

Blinken: US hopes to ‘influence Russia to abandon the path of war’

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has told the U.N. Security Council Thursday that “we have been warning the Ukrainian government of all that is coming. 

“And here today we are laying it out in great detail with the hope that by sharing what we know with the world we can influence Russia to abandon the path of war and choose a different path while there is still time,” he said.  

“While Russia has repeatedly derided our warnings and alarms as melodrama and nonsense, they have been steadily amassing more than 150,000 troops on Ukraine’s borders as well as the capabilities to conduct a massive military assault,” Blinken added. 

Blinken: ‘This is a moment of peril for the lives and safety of millions of people’

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in a speech to the U.N. Security Council Thursday, said “as we meet today the most immediate threat to peace and security is Russia’s looming aggression toward Ukraine. 

“The stakes go far beyond Ukraine, this is a moment of peril for the lives and safety of millions of people,” he continued. 

“This crisis directly affects every member of this Council and every country in the world because the basic principles that sustain peace and security – principles that were enshrined in the wake of two world wars and the Cold War are under threat,” Blinken added. “The principle that one country cannot change the borders of another by force. The principle that one country cannot dictate another’s choices or policies or with whom it will associate. The principal of national sovereignty.” 

Biden says he believes Ukraine invasion ‘will happen in the next several days’

President Biden on Thursday said the U.S. has reason to believe that Russia is “engaged in a false flag operation,” and said he believes that an invasion “will happen in the next several days.”

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Tensions have spiked along the line that separates Ukrainian forces from Russia-backed separatists in the country’s east, with the parties accusing each other of intensive shelling.

As he departed the White House, Biden said the threat of a Russian invasion into Ukraine is “very high,” and that he believes it could happen “in the next several days.”

“They have not moved their troops out. They’ve moved more troops in,” Biden said. “Every indication we have is they’re prepared to go into Ukraine, attack Ukraine.”

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to read more on Fox News.

Blinken set to address UN Security Council on Ukraine situation at 10 a.m. ET

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to deliver remarks on Russia’s threat to peace and security at a U.N. Security Council meeting in New York City.

Click here to watch on Fox News.

More images emerge of shelling in eastern Ukraine

Local residents stand next to a building, which according to Ukraine’s local officials was damaged by shelling, in the town of Vrubivka, Ukraine, on Thursday. 

Russia expels US deputy ambassador from embassy in Moscow

A State Department spokesperson told the media on Thursday that Russia has expelled Bart Gorman, the U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission to Russia, from its embassy in Moscow.

The spokesperson described Gorman as “the second-most senior official at U.S. Embassy Moscow after the Ambassador and a key member of the Embassy’s senior leadership team.”

The State Department described the measure as “unprovoked and we consider this an escalatory step and are considering our response.”

“We note that Russia’s actions have led to the U.S. mission to Russia being staffed at levels well below the Russian mission to the United States,” the spokesperson also said.

Photo shows damaged kindergarten in eastern Ukraine

This photo released Thursday shows a kindergarten, which according to Ukrainian military officials was damaged by shelling, in the Luhansk region of Ukraine.

Ukrainian military officer says soldiers are responding to artillery shelling in Eastern Ukraine

A Ukrainian Joint Forces Officer tells Fox News’ Trey Yingst his soldiers are responding to artillery shelling in Eastern Ukraine. The officer said the exchange of fire is ongoing at this hour.

The officer added that one Ukrainian solider was injured, along with three civilians.

The Ukrainian solider is in serious, but stable condition.

Pentagon calls reported shelling of Ukrainian village ‘troubling’

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin addressed reports of Ukraine and Russian-backed rebels accusing each other of violating a cease-fire after a shelling incident Thursday, stating that the U.S. is monitoring the situation.

At a NATO news conference Thursday morning, Austin said he has been concerned that Russia might try to stage a false flag operation as an excuse to invade Ukraine, but that the U.S. is not jumping to any conclusions at this time.

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NATO’s leader tells Fox News reporter why current Ukraine situation is ‘so dangerous’

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, when asked by Fox News’ Greg Palkot Thursday about the capability of Russia to launch an attack on Ukraine, said they have enough troops and resources ready to begin “a full-fledged invasion of Ukraine with very little or no warning time. 

“And that is what makes this situation so dangerous,” Stoltenberg said. “So we know about their capabilities but of course we don’t know with certainty about their intentions, so it remains to be seen what they will do.” 

“To have so many combat-ready troops in and around Ukraine… it’s not a normal exercise… it’s not a normal activity on their own territory,” Stoltenberg continued. “This is something that is threatening an independent sovereign nation and they can launch an attack with hardly any warning time at all and that’s the danger.” 

Austin calls reports of Ukraine kindergarten shelling ‘certainly troubling’

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Thursday that the U.S. is aware of reports that a kindergarten has been shelled in eastern Ukraine, describing the incident as “certainly troubling”. 

“We have said for some time that the Russians
might do something like this in order to justify a military conflict so we will be watching this very closely,” he added. 

Austin: ‘Russia continues building up their military presence along Ukraine’s borders’

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Thursday that “Russia continues building up their military presence along Ukraine’s borders including in Crimea, in Belarus and in the Black Sea,” and that “in many ways this brings Russian troops right up to NATO’s doorstep.” 

Austin told reporters that in recent days the U.S. has observed Russia sending troops closer to its border with Ukraine, including aircraft and blood supplies. 

“You don’t do these sorts of things for no reason and you certainly don’t do them if you are getting ready to pack up and head home,” he said. 

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to hold press conference at 7:30 a.m. ET

Click here to watch on Fox News.

Ukrainians brace for onset of potential war

Fox News correspondent Lucas Tomlinson reports on the latest between the Russia-Ukraine tensions.

Stanytsia Luhanska village targeted in shelling: Ukrainian FM

Eastern Ukraine’s Stanytsia Luhanska village was “shelled with heavy weapons” from the Donbas, an occupied terrirory, Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s minister of foreign affairs, tweeted Thursday.

He said that civilian infrastructure had been damaged in the attack.

“We call on all partners to swiftly condemn this severe violation of Minsk agreements by Russia amid an already tense security situation,” he wrote. 

NATO allies accuse Russia of misleading world on claims of troop withdrawals

NATO allies on Thursday claimed that Russia had actually bolstered troops at the Ukrainian border by as many a 7,000, contrary to the Kremlin’s claims that it had withdrawn some back to bases.

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The 7,000 troops would be in addition to an estimated more than 150,000 outside Ukraine.

“We have seen the opposite of some of the statements. We have seen an increase of troops over the last 48 hours, up to 7,000,” British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said Thursday. “We are deadly serious in how we’re going to face the threat that is currently being posed to both Ukraine and potentially to our security.”

Wallace made the statement ahead of a meeting of the western alliance in Brussels.

Moscow has given no details about its claims that it has pulled back some forces.  

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ukraine denies claim by Russian-backed separatists of military attacks

Ukraine on Thursday denied a claim from Russian-backed separatists in the country that the military had repeatedly attacked their territory in the last 24 hours with mortars, a machine gun and grenade launchers, according to Reuters.

The Ukrainian military said it was the separatists, who seized a section of Eastern Ukraine in 2014, who had attacked them.

A statement from the separatists said, “Armed forces of Ukraine have crudely violated the ceasefire regime, using heavy weapons, which, according to the Minsk agreements, should be withdrawn.” The separatists said they’re checking to see if anyone was hurt or killed in the alleged incident.

U.S. intelligence officials have warned that Russia might use a fake allegation as a pretense to invade Ukraine. Russia denies that. 

Russia sends additional troops to border, US official says

U.S. officials told reporters on Wednesday that Moscow increased its forces near the Ukrainian border by 7,000 troops despite assurances from the Kremlin that it was pulling back some of its forces. 

Russia’s Defense Ministry announced earlier that a number of troops completed their training exercises and would be returning to their bases along with heavy military equipment that included tanks.

The New York Times reported
that the ministry went as far as to post a video of the purported to show the troop movement. Antony Blinken, the U.S. secretary of state, told ABC News that there has been no evidence of a pullback.

 “He (Russian President Vladimir Putin) can pull the trigger,” Blinken said. “He can pull it today. He can pull it tomorrow. He can pull it next week. The forces are there if he wants to renew aggression against Ukraine.” 

The Biden official who briefed reporters on the troop buildup did so on the condition of anonymity. Moscow has accused Western countries of promoting propaganda when it comes to claims of an invasion. With AP

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