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International

Blinken warns a Russian invasion of Ukraine “could begin at any time”

Feb 11, 2022

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Headshot of <p class="author-name text-name1">Alex Peebles</p> />
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					<p class=Alex Peebles

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Speaking at a meeting with Indo-Pacific allies Friday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned a Russian invasion of Ukraine could be imminent. It could even happen while athletes from around the world are still in Beijing for the Winter Olympics.

“As we said before, we’re in a window when an invasion could begin at any time. To be clear that includes during the Olympics,” Blinken said. “Simply put, we continue to see very troubling signs of Russian escalation, including new forces arriving at the Ukrainian border.”

Commercial satellite images taken Wednesday and Thursday by U.S.-based Maxar Technologies, which has been tracking the buildup of Russian forces for weeks, showed significant new deployments in several locations in annexed Crimea, western Russia and Belarus.

“We’re… committed to continuing to build up the defensive capacity of Ukraine, as well as reinforcing the defenses of NATO if Russia renews its aggression,” Blinken said. “We’ve been very clear in building deterrence and building defense and making it clear to Russia that if it chooses the path of renewed aggression, it will face massive consequences.”

Examples of consequences include “economic, financial sanctions” and “export controls.” As Blinken warns about a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine, the White House is warning of Russian retaliation to those export controls. According to people familiar who spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity, the White House’s National Security Council has been telling members of the chip industry to diversify its supply chain.

Earlier this month, market research group Techcet published a report highlighting how reliant semiconductor manufacturers are on Russian and Ukrainian-sourced materials. According to that report, over 90% of U.S. semiconductor-grade neon supplies come from Ukraine, while 35% of U.S. palladium is sourced from Russia. Retaliation from Russia could worsen the ongoing chip shortage in the United States.

Even if Russia doesn’t invade Ukraine during the Olympics, the tensions are still being felt in Beijing. After completing his third run in the men’s skeleton event, Ukraine’s Vladyslav Heraskevych held up a paper sign that said “no war in Ukraine.”

“Like any normal people I don’t want war. I want peace in my country and I want peace in the world,” Heraskevych said. “That’s my position, I fight for that, I fight for peace.”

According to International Olympic Committee rule 50, “no kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.” However, the IOC said since Heraskevych’s message was a general call for peace, there would be no repercussions.

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Antony Blinken // Secretary of State: “Simply put, we continue to see very troubling signs of Russian escalation.”
Gwen Baumgardner: U.S. OFFICIALS CONTINUE TO WARN THAT A RUSSIAN INVASION OF UKRAINE – APPEARS IMMINENT.
SECRETARY OF STATE ANTONY BLINKEN SAYS RUSSIA HAS BEEN AMASSING ADDITIONAL TROOPS NEAR THE UKRAINIAN BORDER.
AND BELIEVES AN INVASION COULD EVEN HAPPEN WHILE THE WINTER OLYMPICS ARE STILL GOING ON.
Antony Blinken // Secretary of State: “We’re continuing to draw down our our embassy. We will continue that process and we’ve also been very clear that any American citizens who remain in Ukraine should leave now.”
Gwen Baumgardner: MEANWHILE, AT THE OLYMPICS, A UKRAINIAN ATHLETE HAS USED HIS SPOTLIGHT TO WEIGH IN ON THE GROWING TENSIONS.
AFTER COMPLETING A RUN IN THE SKELETON EVENT- HOLDING UP A PAPER SIGN READING “NO WAR IN UKRAINE.”
SHORTLY AFTER THE RACE — THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE SAID HE WOULD NOT FACE ANY REPERCUSSIONS FOR THE DISPLAY.
THE WHITE HOUSE WARNS OF A WORSENING CHIP SHORTAGE IF THEY SANCTION RUSSIA FOR AN INVASION — AS SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURERS RELY HEAVILY ON MATERIALS SOURCED IN RUSSIA AND UKRAINE.
STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS HAS DONE SEVERAL STORIES ON THE CHIP SHORTAGE.
VIEW THEM BY CLICKING THE LINK BELOW.