Ukrainian defense minister says Russian invasion not imminent, tells citizens to 'sleep well'

·1 min read
Volodymyr Zelensky
Volodymyr Zelensky JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov spoke to Ukrainians Tuesday in an attempt to reassure the country's citizens that a Russian invasion was neither imminent nor inevitable, The Associated Press reported.

"Don't worry, sleep well," Reznikov said in a speech to Ukraine's parliament. "No need to have your bags packed." He also said that "as of today, there are no grounds to believe" Russia would invade in the immediate future.

Zelensky, in a televised address to the nation, said, "We are strong enough to keep everything under control and derail any attempts at destabilization."

Earlier this month, Ukraine blamed Russia for a cyberattack that infected dozens of Ukraine's government and private computer networks

Zekensky added that decisions by other countries to evacuate citizens, diplomats, and diplomats' dependents from Ukraine "doesn't necessarily signal an inevitable escalation and is part of a complex diplomatic game."

The U.S., Britain, Australia, Germany and Canada have all evacuated some of their nationals, per AP.

President Biden said in a press conference Wednesday that he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin "will move" against Ukraine, but that he's unsure whether Putin will order a full-scale invasion or a "minor incursion."

Biden also said he didn't think Putin had "made up his mind yet," a position Biden reiterated Tuesday when he compared discerning Putin's intentions to "reading tea leaves," an ABC affiliate reported.

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