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The situation in Ukraine “is now becoming a transcendent opportunity for Putin,” a Pentagon spokesman said.


Pentagon press secretary John Kirby warned on Sunday that the situation in Ukraine was “becoming a transcendent opportunity for Putin,” based on US intelligence.

When asked on Fox News Sunday what intelligence the Pentagon has seen to suggest that Russia could invade Ukraine at any moment, Adm. “It’s really a combination of factors,” said Kirby, including what the US is seeing “in plain sight” at the border.

“I think it’s a mosaic of intelligence that we’re seeing. No specifics but we have good intelligence and they’re telling us that things are building into some sort of transcendent opportunity for Mr. Putin,” Kirby said.

In a separate interview with MSNBC, Kirby provided more details on Saturday’s phone call by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin with his Russian counterpart. This said Austin made the point that “if one of the things that President Putin says he doesn’t want is a strong NATO and a strong NATO on his western flank, he’s going to exactly go for it.” that outcome” if he continued on the path of aggression.

Kirby also confirmed on MSNBC that 160 Florida National Guard troops had safely left Ukraine after the Pentagon ordered an evacuation on Saturday. These soldiers have been in Ukraine since November on a training mission.

Kirby said that Austin “out of an abundance of caution … decided it was time to move them out of the country.” The press secretary added that the army was stationed near the Polish border and it was fairly easy to get them out of the country.

Asked if German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s expected visit to Russia on Tuesday would be a “last attempt”, Kirby replied: “I don’t know if I’ll say it for the last time but but certainly we realize the time component here seems to be shrinking and that gives all of us reason to worry. Still believe that there is still time and space for a diplomatic path forward.”



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