Blinken: We Hit Russia ‘Hard’ with Sanctions, ‘Everything Is in Place’ for Full Invasion I Have Reason to Believe Will Happen Today

On Wednesday’s broadcast of “NBC Nightly News,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the U.S. has hit Russia “hard” with sanctions, he has reason to believe Russia will be engaging in something similar to a full invasion of Ukraine before the end of the night, and “everything is in place for Russia to move forward.”

Host Lester Holt asked, “Do you have reason to believe that, before this night is over, Russian forces will be engaged in something akin to a full invasion of Ukraine?”

Blinken answered, “I do. Unfortunately, Russia has positioned its forces at the final point of readiness across Ukraine’s borders, to the north, to the east, to the south. Everything seems to be in place for Russia to engage in a major aggression against Ukraine.”

Blinken added that he “can’t put a date or an exact time on it, but everything is in place for Russia to move forward.”

Holt then asked about the failure of the first round of sanctions to deter Putin, the appearance that further sanctions won’t deter Putin either, and whether this means the administration is “out of options here, is Russian control of Ukraine a fait accompli?”

Blinken responded, “No, it’s not. And there, I think, is still an opportunity to avert a major aggression. Although, again, they’re in their final stages of being able to engage in one. Yesterday, when they began this invasion of Ukraine, we hit them hard, not just us, but in unison with Europe, in unison with our other allies and partners, going against major financial institutions, taking out a major project, the so-called Nord Stream 2 pipeline that Germany took off the table. … But at the same time, we’ve said very clearly, that, if Russia continues to escalate, so will we. And so, they have to factor that into what they’re thinking.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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