On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said there will be no war in Ukraine if it’s up to Russia and warned of possible escalations in the Donbas from the Ukrainian side.
“On the part of the Russian Federation, there won’t be a war [with Ukraine]. Yet I do not exclude that somebody would like to provoke military actions [around Ukraine],” Lavrov said in a radio interview, according to Tass.
Russia and Ukraine held talks in Paris on Wednesday and agreed that the Donbas ceasefire must be upheld. But Lavrov warned that the Ukrainian government doesn’t have control over “an enormous number of servicemen” that are deployed near the conflict zone.
“According to Western data, I think, there are even about 100,000 of them at the line of engagement. And the regime in Kyiv does not control the majority of these armed people,” he said.
Russia has repeatedly denied Western claims that it is planning an invasion of Ukraine. But a flare-up in the Donbas could be enough for the hawks in Washington to take action against Moscow, even if the Russians have nothing to do with it.
Earlier this month, the US claimed without evidence that Russia is planning a “false flag” against the separatists in the Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. Meaning the US is poised to blame any violence in the region on Moscow, no matter who the aggressor is.
Washington’s narrative about the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine is starting to fall apart. After a phone call with President Biden, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky slammed Western powers for creating a “panic” by making the claim. “I’m the president of Ukraine and I’m based here and I think I know the details better here,” he said.