Biden Is Convinced Putin Will Invade Ukraine

President Joe Biden said he is convinced Russian President Vladimir Putin has made the decision to invade Ukraine, telling reporters at a Friday press conference that Russian troops have the country “surrounded” and that the attack will occur in “the coming week.” When asked why he thought Putin would invade, Biden responded “significant intelligence capabilities.”

The president’s grave message comes as fighting has increased in Ukraine’s separatist Donbas region over the last few days.

The statement follows a long series of alarmist predictions from the White House in recent weeks that have failed to materialize. Further, Ukrainian officials continue to downplay the threat. Most recently, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said the likelihood of a Russian invasion is low.

Biden highlighted the efforts his administration has taken to arm the region against Russia, including $650 million in military assistance to Ukraine. While in Poland on Friday, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced a $6 billion weapons sale to Poland, including 250 Abrams tanks.

In his speech, Biden stressed that the “entire free world” is united against Russia, saying that NATO is ready to respond with sanctions and to come to the defense of any member state that was attacked. However, the president emphasized that Ukraine is not a member of the alliance and would not be defended with American troops.

Asked about Putin’s plan to oversee nuclear-capable missile drills, the president said he did not believe Russia has plans to use nuclear weapons and was attempting to gain leverage over the security balance in Europe.

Despite his continued warnings of a Russian threat, Biden maintained that a pathway for diplomacy remained open, noting that Secretary of State Antony Blinken would meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on February 24th in Europe. He added, however, that the window for talks would close if a Russian invasion began.

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.