Sounds a Lot Like Military Exercises

It appears that the optempo of the Russian deployment around the Ukraine is slowing, which seems to indicate that, much as had Moscow claimed, these were military exercises, not a prelude for invasion.

The issue here is that realistic military exercises are indistinguishable from a preparation for invasion, which is why the DPRK freaks out every time that the US and South Korea do the same.

Nothing to see here, move along:

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow had withdrawn some troops from the Ukrainian border and was open to renewed talks to end a standoff with the West, but President Biden said an invasion remained “distinctly possible.”

Mr. Putin’s comments Tuesday were part of a recent string of mixed messages from the Kremlin and capped a day of diplomacy and military maneuvering that left Western leaders unsure of his intentions. Roughly 130,000 heavily armed Russian soldiers remained positioned around Ukraine, and U.S. and European officials said they had seen no evidence of a significant drawdown of forces.

Earlier Tuesday, Russia’s Defense Ministry said a relatively small number of troops had completed exercises and were headed back to their bases but emphasized that large-scale maneuvers were continuing across a broad front.

President Biden said later that the U.S. hasn’t verified that Moscow had withdrawn some troops.

In remarks from the White House on Tuesday, Mr. Biden stressed that the U.S. wasn’t looking for confrontation with Russia and was hoping for a diplomatic resolution. But he said that if Russia invades Ukraine, the U.S. and allies would respond decisively. And with the prospect of U.S. sanctions looming should Russia invade, he warned Americans that energy prices could be affected.

“I will not pretend this will be painless,” Mr. Biden said, adding that the administration is “prepared to deploy all the tools and authority at our disposal to provide relief at the gas pump.”

………

The Russian leader said Moscow was “ready to follow the negotiation track” but that the implementation of Russian demands, including a halt to expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, are “an unconditional priority for us.”

It is rather telling that the Ukrainian government did not lose its sh%$ over this, it was the White House in Washington, and Nato HQ in Brussels that lost their sh%$.

Unfortunately, there are way too many people who are still Jonesing for that apocalyptic battle with Russia in out state security apparatus, and they are serving up information that supports this world view.

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