(breitbart) – Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov told reporters on Tuesday that Kyiv considers – and intelligence reports from the West agree – that “internal destabilization” caused by panic over a potential further Russian invasion is “the number one issue,” not any potential invasion.
With this “destabilization” – leading to generalized panic and the collapse of the national currency, the hryvnia – “the Russians have nothing to do here,” Danilov asserted, according to state outlet Ukrinform.
The remarks follow multiple national addresses from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urging Ukrainians to disregard agitated statements from the administration of President Joe Biden and its allies predicting an imminent Russian invasion deeper into Ukraine than Moscow already is. Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014, colonizing Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, and supporting “separatists” in the eastern Donbas region. Moscow insists the Donbas war is a “civil war,” but Kyiv has revealed extensive evidence of Russian military support against the Ukrainian army.
In one of the more dramatic episodes of the Donbas war, the government of the Netherlands concluded in 2015 that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a commercial airliner blown out of the sky over Ukraine, was hit by a Russian-made Buk missile operated by “separatists.” Countries representing the victims of the bombing have for years demanded Russian redress to no avail.
Concern over the situation in Donbas intensified significantly last week when Biden predicted in a press conference that Putin would invade Ukraine again and that he did not expect the United States to aid Ukraine in the event of a “minor incursion.”
“Russia will be held accountable if it invades. And it depends on what it does. It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and then we end up having a fight about what to do and not do, et cetera,” Biden said.
The Biden administration has proceeded in the past week as if it has credible evidence that Russia will not only formally enter the Donbas war, but seize Kyiv. Over the weekend, the State Department recalled the families of Americans stationed at the U.S. embassy in the capital and urged Americans in the country to leave. Asked on Monday, the State Department did not have a coherent answer as to why it did so, given Kyiv’s 500-mile distance from Donbas. The move baffled the Zelensky administration, which called it “premature.”
The Zelensky administration has spent much of the past week expressing confusion at the sudden panic about another Russian invasion and asserting that its intelligence on the ground in Ukraine does not indicate that anything has changed to trigger such alarm in the past week. It has instead focused its concern on the potential for panic disrupting the Ukrainian economy, prompting citizens to empty banks and scaring away foreign investment.
“Today, according to all intelligence reports that coincide with those of the United States, Britain, and other partners, internal destabilization is No. 1 issue. Without internal destabilization, the Russians have nothing to do here. They bet on the issue of internal destabilization,” Danilov reportedly said on Monday. He asserted that the national warning system for a military emergency was “in perfect working condition” and not being used because it was not needed.
Danilov’s remarks are consistent with Zelensky’s, given immediately after Biden predicted a Russian invasion last week.
“Didn’t the invasion start in 2014? Has the threat of war emerged just now? These risks have existed for more than a year, and they haven’t increased,” Zelensky said during a nationally televised broadcast last week. “What has increased is the hype around them.”
“All our citizens, especially the elderly, need to understand this. Take a deep breath. Calm down,” Zelensky implored his people. “To all the media – remain mass media, not sources of mass hysteria. In the pursuit of hype don’t help the enemy, reporting daily that war may start tomorrow! This will definitely not stop it.”
“What are you supposed to do?” he concluded. “Only one thing. Keep your head calm and cool, remain confident in your strength, in your Army, in our Ukraine. Do not get anxious, react smartly to everything, not emotionally! With your head, not your heart.”
Danilov said on Monday that the Russian troop movements apparently alarming the White House were “a big issue” for the United States but “not news for us.” He also described a successful Russian invasion at the moment as “impossible.”
Zelensky himself addressed the press after a National Security Council meeting on Monday to insist that the situation on the ground has not notably changed.
“The meeting’s outcome brought no loud decisions for the media space – only important conclusions for our public, for Ukrainian citizens,” Zelensky said. “They sound simple – everything is under control.” Zelensky said.
“We are aware of everything, we are ready for everything, we believe in the best, and we do everything to this end – together with our partners, our diplomats, and most importantly, our military,” the president affirmed. “They are our best people, they protect us, and we need to protect them – by being calm and not shouting out that ‘all hope is lost.’”