Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby Holds a Press Briefing > U.S. Division of Protection > Transcript

KIRBY:  Good afternoon, all people. Extra of you, I see, at this time.


KIRBY:  You are welcome for that. OK, a pair issues on the highest, after which we’ll — we’ll get proper at it.

Secretary Austin will likely be departing tomorrow on an abroad journey to fulfill with senior army and authorities leaders in Belgium, Poland and Lithuania in Brussels, in fact. He’ll meet with allied and protection ministers throughout NATO management within the protection ministerial, clearly, to debate Russia’s army buildup in and round Ukraine. He’ll additionally reiterate america’ dedication to our allies made in Article 5 and proceed the alliance’s progress on deterrence and protection whereas making certain the alliance is ready to face tomorrow’s challenges.

In Poland, he plans to fulfill with the Polish president and the minister of nationwide protection to reinforce bilateral cooperation and safety and deepen the Polish-American partnership, which we imagine is important to addressing at this time’s present threats and challenges. He’ll additionally get an opportunity to fulfill with U.S. and Polish troops which are at Powidz Air Base to tour the power there and to look at the situations of our rotational presence.

Secretary Austin will even journey to Lithuania to fulfill with the Lithuanian president, the prime minister and minister for nationwide protection as effectively, once more, to reaffirm that america stands with Lithuania and the Baltic states, working collectively to strengthen Lithuanian Armed Forces and to persevering with to face shoulder-to-shoulder towards threats and adversaries.

Individually, Secretary Austin does plan to fulfill collectively together with his counterparts from Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia collectively, and he’ll have an opportunity, as effectively, to go to with some U.S. servicemembers which are there in Lithuania.

On one other be aware, I would prefer to announce that the secretary has appointed Dr. Eric D. Evans to function the chair of — OK, it isn’t right here. I am lacking some — some sentences right here. I will — we’ll — we’ll announce this later after the briefing. I haven’t got all of the textual content of it right here.

So with that, Bob, we’ll take questions. Sorry about that.

QUESTION:  Improvising.

KIRBY:  We really — let me see. Do you’ve got — do you’ve got it there?  All proper. I apologize.

Go forward.

QUESTION:  Thanks, John. A query in regards to the Russian buildup in — on the border space of Ukraine. Are you able to — are you able to give somewhat bit extra detailed description of the lay of the land there in time period — in — like in current days. For instance, have a number of the floor items that have been in bigger meeting areas moved into — moved out towards — nearer to the border into what is likely to be assault positions? Different actions over the past 24 hours and such?

KIRBY:  Yeah, so what I would say, Bob, is even over the past 24 to 48, over the course of the weekend, Mr. Putin has added army functionality alongside that border with Ukraine and in Belarus. He’s exercising his — a few of his items on the bottom there within the south, in addition to — as naval items within the Black Sea. So he continues so as to add to his readiness. He continues to offer himself extra choices, ought to he pursue a army path right here.

I am not going to — I — I want to chorus from stepping into particular actions of their — of their troops. I believe that is most likely not a smart factor for me to do with any nice specificity. I might simply say this:  That he continues to advance his readiness, ought to he select to — to go down a army path right here, and will he select to invade once more, he’s doing all of the stuff you would count on him to do to ensure he is prepared for that possibility, or choices.

QUESTION:  So there is no indication, for instance, that what they’ve known as workouts have led to any manner, or are altering in any manner their — their presence both…

KIRBY:  I — I wish to watch out to characterize one other nation’s workouts. We have seen them conduct these workouts in current days. Workout routines are designed to make you prepared, and that will get to my earlier level. He continues to do the issues that you’d count on one to do if — if one was planning on a — a significant army motion, and that’s to sharpen the readiness and so as to add to the capabilities of — of his pressure.

Now look, we clearly don’t desire that to be the result, and neither do — neither do the Ukrainians, and positively, neither do our — our — our NATO allies. And International Minister Lavrov stated earlier at this time that — or appeared to point that he nonetheless thinks there’s oxygen right here for diplomacy. We — we might welcome a pursuit of that path by the Russians, as a result of we, too, imagine that there nonetheless needs to be and is usually a — a diplomatic path ahead.


QUESTION:  John, I am making an attempt to grasp. Are you continue to suggesting that Putin has not taken a choice to invade Ukraine?

KIRBY:  We nonetheless do not imagine that some ultimate determination has — has been made.

QUESTION:  Then how is it that communications proceed — and we simply heard from President Zelensky that he is been informed that an invasion will occur on February sixteenth, which is Wednesday. How do you reconcile…

KIRBY:  Positive.

QUESTION:  … Putin hasn’t taken a choice, however an invasion’s occurring on the sixteenth?

KIRBY:  Properly, I am not going to speak about particular intelligence assessments. I believe you may perceive that. We have now stated for some time now that army motion might occur any day, and also you heard from the nationwide safety advisor, making it clear that it — it — it actually might occur earlier than the tip of the Olympics, perhaps even this week. We have now shared with our allies and companions, and that features Ukraine, our evaluation of the data that — that we have been receiving, and positively have mirrored in these conversations our deep concern in regards to the continued capabilities that Mr. Putin has at his — has at his beck and name.

So I — I will not get right into a — a selected date; I do not suppose that might be good. I might simply inform you that it’s fully potential that he might transfer with little to no warning.

QUESTION:  What’s going to the U.S. response be at that — at the moment? Is the Protection Secretary going to the NATO Ministerial? Are we speaking in regards to the NATO Response Power being activated? What would we count on to see?

KIRBY:  President Biden has made clear that ought to there be one other incursion into Ukraine that america would reply swiftly with extreme financial penalties. I will not communicate for the alliance, a choice to activate the NATO Response Power is a choice that the NAC, the North Atlantic Council has to make. That is not one thing that america would unilaterally name into being.

I’ll solely add this and because of this a few weeks in the past we talked about making our contribution to the response pressure extra prepared. And so we have carried out that and one of many messages that the secretary will carry with him, NATO, is that our contribution to the NATO Response Power, ought to or not it’s known as, ought to or not it’s activated, they’re going to be able to go.

QUESTION:  And simply to be clear, your reply to Bob, you don’t see proof that his forces have moved into assault positions but?

KIRBY:  I am not going to speak about what particularly we’re seeing on the bottom relating to unit-by-unit. What I might inform you is, that we proceed to see him advance his readiness and enhance his capabilities and supply himself extra choices ought to he determine to take one other — to take army motion in Ukraine.

Let me go to the telephones right here. I promise I am going to get to all people. I — we’ll be right here so long as you need. Tom Squitieri?

QUESTION:  Hey John, good afternoon. Thanks very a lot. The U.S. Navy has but to pinpoint the precise location and depth of that F-35 that was concerned in an accident. By extension, has been in a position to safe that space within the South China Sea.

You stated a number of occasions from the rostrum that this F-35 is U.S. property and you haven’t any concern that different nations or entities will attempt to pilfer it. What provides you confidence that the Chinese language will abide by their nationwide protocols relating to possession and salvage, simply given they’ve ignored different worldwide court docket rulings relating to the South China Sea?

KIRBY:  It is not about confidence that the Chinese language will or will not do something, Tom. It’s our property. It’s not unusual for us to recuperate our property when it’s misplaced at sea. And we’re making each effort to try this on this case.

And if it may be carried out I am assured that america will likely be — america Navy will be capable of get it — get it carried out. They’re onsite they usually’re working by this in real-time.

Sure, Sylvie.

QUESTION:  Thanks, John. The Russian Protection Minister Sergey, stated this morning that they will finish quickly or they’re even ending a few of their army train. So, because you say like they proceed to strengthen their deployment, what meaning is you do not take him at his phrase or it isn’t related for this second?

KIRBY:  I am not difficult his phrase that he is ending workouts. That is the — that is not the purpose. The purpose is, he continues to make prepared for — and more and more giant variety of Russian troops alongside that border with Ukraine.

The truth that I — look, they will — I am completely satisfied that they are talking to their workouts. That is a welcome change, for them to be clear about what they’re doing with workouts. They have not been, in any respect, clear about what they intend to do with this large build-up.

It is unusual credulity to suppose that they’d have this many troops arrayed alongside the border with Ukraine and in Belarus merely for winter workouts. So, we nonetheless suppose there is a diplomatic path.

In the event that they wish to ship a robust sign about de-escalation they may if, in truth, these troops are carried out their workouts they may ship them again to their dwelling garrisons and scale back the presence alongside that border. That may go a good distance.

Sure? Oren?

QUESTION:  John, a Russian invasion could be preceded by a sequence of kind of preparatory steps, data warfare, cyberattacks, indication of protests in Ukraine, state media getting ready the Russian inhabitants for casualties. Are you seeing that? And in that case, how particular are you able to be about what you are seeing?

KIRBY:  I — it is a piece of the Russian playbook to put down a basis for these army motion with cyber operations, data operations, even hybrid operations as we noticed again in 2014, you understand, the little inexperienced males. These are, in truth, Russian troopers that are not — that are not — that are not dressed as Russian troopers.

We’re on the — we’re monitoring this carefully and positively looking out for the usage of any of those sorts of techniques. I will not communicate to particular assessments as — right here at this time. I might simply inform you that we’re watching this very carefully.

And it is one of many explanation why, Oren, that we have tried to be open over the past week and a half, two weeks, in regards to the potential for these sorts of a — of concentric, if you’ll, that is a Pentagon phrase I do know, however non-kinetic techniques and procedures utilized by the Russians to start to sow the seeds for potential armed battle, to incorporate creating some kind of pretext that the — that the Ukrainians would react to that then they may declare was a risk to their nationwide safety.

So, I am unable to communicate with specificity at this time that of something that’s obtrusive clearly, besides to return to what we stated earlier than in regards to the issues we now have seen within the intelligence about their preparations for these sorts of non-kinetic, kind of low-intensity operations that they may use to their benefit.

QUESTION: Broadly talking, you may’t say sure or no to a basis is being laid at this level?

KIRBY:  I believe we have seen them, actually, make it clear that they wish to lay that basis. I believe I would go away it at that.

Sure, Megan.

QUESTION:  Hello. If there’s any kind of invasion this week, will that have an effect on the secretary’s schedule in any respect whereas he is in Europe?

KIRBY:  The secretary is leaving tomorrow morning for Brussels.

QUESTION:  And the plan is to remain for the whole time it doesn’t matter what?

KIRBY:  We’ll must see, clearly, how issues play out. The secretary’s trying ahead to his journey, trying ahead to assembly with these leaders, trying ahead to creating clear our commitments to our NATO allies.


QUESTION:  John, only a — you understand, what position is China enjoying on this entire Ukraine, Russian (inaudible). Is the — is the — is the protection secretary frightened in regards to the position they’re enjoying?

KIRBY:  We actually have been watching the — at the very least public burgeoning relationship right here between Russia and China, their February 4 joint assertion actually supplied additional proof that China has determined that they’ll stand alongside Russia with respect to what is going on on in Europe. And we might say that their tacit help, if you’ll, for Russia is deeply alarming. And albeit, much more destabilizing to the safety scenario in Europe.


QUESTION:  I had a query for you about a number of the feedback that the president made in his interview with Lester Holt. He says in that interview that he is, quote, “Not informed about what commanders have been observing on the bottom in Afghanistan.” And I am simply making an attempt to get some (inaudible) as a result of it will appear to me that the secretary and the chairman are tasked with speaking to the president what — what troops on the bottom are saying.

So might you assist me perceive what duty that the secretary and the chairman have for the president not getting important data from commanders on the bottom on the ultimate days of the struggle?

KIRBY:  I imply what I might inform you is all through the month of August, in truth, effectively — effectively earlier than the month of August, there was a really strong regular frequent interagency course of — determination making course of, I imply began fascinated by and planning for noncombatant evacuation way back to April.

And we did not do this in a vacuum. There was ample interagency discussions about that way back to the spring. (Inaudible) …the chairman and the secretary completely take very critically their requirement to supply the commander-in-chief with their finest recommendation about how one can proceed ahead and about how the scenario is altering.

And there have been many, many alternatives for them to try this, each when it comes to bigger interagency conferences in addition to non-public classes that they’ve weekly with the president. And so they’ve stated as a lot in — in — in testimony.

I might inform you as a result of I do know what’s prompting the query and I might simply inform you that commanders on the tactical stage completely have been making an attempt to make the very best determination they may in actual time below extremely troublesome circumstances they usually have been seeing issues by — at rightly by their prism within the second there on the airport.

There have been different views at a strategic stage and I might inform you that the president has a a lot larger view, a bigger perspective on — on what is going on on then on the tactical stage. And people discussions have been occurring right here in Washington, D.C.

And there was, actually within the month of August, actually day by day touches between the secretary and the chairman and leaders on the bottom there on the airport. So the data movement was — was robust. However at no time did the Nationwide Safety Council attempt to cease an evacuation or sluggish it down or gum up the works.

The leaders on the bottom actually have been — have been working below unbelievable stress and positively as I gave these interviews for this investigation, doing that truthfully not realizing that these paperwork have been going to be made public so that they have been very candid about what they have been seeing.

On the strategic stage there have been totally different views, interagency views that we’re additionally factoring into the choice making course of. However there was no effort in right here in D.C. to decelerate or cease the evacuation.

QUESTION:  (Inaudible) are you able to inform us what the standing is on evacuating the households on the August twenty ninth throughout —

KIRBY:  That work nonetheless continues, Nancy. Clearly not on the velocity with which we’re glad. However we have not misplaced focus — we have not diminished our robust need to — to get them — to get them to security.

QUESTION:  It has been six months. Do you suppose it is days away, weeks away, months away?

KIRBY:  I might be — I would be reticent to offer you an estimate. If — if we had complete management it will have been months in the past. However I — I — I simply do not have an estimate for you. I can simply guarantee you that it isn’t been forgotten and that there is a deliberate concerted effort to do the precise factor by these relations and get them to security right here in america. Sure, let me go to the telephones.

Jeff Schogol?

QUESTION:  Thanks. America is actually taking a lot of precautions that point out it believes struggle is probably going, together with closing the embassy in Ukraine. Is there any likelihood that U.S. Troops in Europe is likely to be a bit — or excuse me — is it potential that Europe is likely to be a part of the fight zone tax exclusion through which troops in Europe wouldn’t pay taxes on their pay?

KIRBY:  Jeff, the president has made clear that U.S. troops aren’t going to be combating in Ukraine. The troops that we now have added to the already 80,000 which are primarily based in Europe are going to reassure our allies and our companions to discourage aggression towards the alliance to conduct some joint coaching.

So I do know of no determination or no — no want to alter the parameters of the European theater with the respect to fight zoning tax exclusion. 

Mike Brest, the Examiner?

QUESTION:  Hello, Mr. Kirby. Thanks. How many individuals — or what number of civilians does DOD now imagine have been killed within the Abdullah raid?

KIRBY:  I — I might inform you we — once we briefed this out we indicated {that a} complete of seven people have been killed. Two of them — three of them of the seven, in fact, have been Mr. Abdullah after which his lieutenant on the second ground in addition to his spouse who was, in truth, a combatant. So of the seven that — that we now have talked about we all know three of them have been combatants.

And that is the — that is the estimate that we now have proper now. However we now have actually seen numbers larger than that and we’re not able to dispute these numbers as a result of we did not keep on sight for greater than two hours, as was the plan, and we’re not going to actually rule out the chance that in that explosion on the third ground further people, whether or not they have been combatants or not, cannot say, since that explosion occurred earlier than our troops obtained into the constructing but it surely’s not out of the realm of the potential that further folks might have been killed in that preliminary explosion and buried within the rubble and — and we did not see them.

Once more, we weren’t on sight for very lengthy. So seven is the quantity that we all know of and we — we — however we do imagine a way of humility right here, we do not — we do not know, we will not affirm that there weren’t others that Mr. Abdullah determined to take with him when he exploded that machine on the third ground. 


QUESTION:  Thanks, John. President Biden stated he would pursue diplomacy and deterrence within the Ukraine disaster and this (inaudible) with the allies. And South Korea has stated it helps Ukraine. My query is what sort of army help does the U.S. wish to from South Korea as an ally?

KIRBY:  That could be a query for the South Korean authorities to reply. Ought to they wish to help Ukraine in a tangible manner, actually that — I am positive that the Ukrainians would — would welcome that. We have famous and I’ve stated earlier than that lots of our different allies in NATO have been additionally discovering methods to help Ukraine however — excuse me — these are sovereign choices that every nation state has to make for themselves and I would not get forward of the South Korean authorities on this.

Sure, Abraham?

QUESTION:  Thanks, John. A pair brief Ukraine observe up questions. Does DOD have any air protection trainers on the bottom in Ukraine?


QUESTION:  Does DOD contemplate a Russian motion into the Donbas a brand new incursion?

KIRBY:  Sure.

QUESTION:  And might you elaborate on what Secretary Austin’s pondering was on pulling the Florida Nationwide Guard trainers out of Western Ukraine?

KIRBY:  We stated it fairly clearly in our assertion. It was in abundance of warning. Once more, given the mosaic of the data that we have been getting over the course of the final 48 hours and the data we proceed to obtain at the same time as early as at this time, it’s clearly not the most secure place for them to be. And so, he ordered them taken in a foreign country over the weekend. Once more, abundance of security, abundance of warning right here.

I stated, what, two weeks in the past while you guys have been asking me about this if and when he believed the protection and safety of these people was going to be in danger he would make the choice to take away them, and he did that. 


QUESTION:  There’s additionally one other small contingent of our US army within the nation not simply what stays on the embassy however, you understand, there’s some Special Forces there. Are you – are you able to say that as of now all U.S. army forces which are deployed in Ukraine have been taken out or ordered out?

KIRBY:  I might inform you that there stays a small quantity of U.S. army personnel in help of our diplomats, they usually stay within the nation.

QUESTION:  Aside from the remaining safety guards, is there anybody moreover them?

KIRBY:  I am simply going to depart my reply as I – as I stated it. 


QUESTION:  John, Secretary Austin ordered 3,000 further troops to Poland. What triggered that call? You have already got deployed 1,700 troops per week in the past to the nation. What triggered that particular determination to…

KIRBY:  We talked about this on the time. I imply, once more, we proceed to see a buildup – continued buildup for Russian army forces. We proceed to seek the advice of with our allies, on this case particularly, Poland. And it was deemed by either side that this was a prudent measure given what we’re seeing on the bottom, given what our intelligence was telling us, and given the potential want for extra functionality in Poland.

I might remind you that these 3,000 are nonetheless a part of the 82nd Airborne. After we introduced the primary 1,700 I known as them a component of and I did not rule out the truth that further 82nd Airborne troopers would go. The secretary held them in reserve. He determined that now could be the time to ship them.

QUESTION:  And likewise simply we now have seen the U.S. F-22s arrived in United Arab Emirates. How do you suppose these fighters assist Emirates coping with the Houthi missiles? Is {that a} plan to type of be a part of the motion or protection actions I assume?

KIRBY:  They will – these F-22s are going to hitch a spread of joint coalition and allied partnered fight air capabilities which are already primarily based throughout the area, so that they’re additive to the airpower that we now have within the area. 


QUESTION:  Can I simply return to a query that Jim requested? I am somewhat confused by your reply. Do you’ve got proof that China gave its tacit help to Russia throughout that assembly on February 4th for an invasion of Ukraine?

KIRBY:  The assertion itself leads in our view as tacit help. 

Sure. No person else within the room? Sure. Matt?

QUESTION:  Thanks. I do know you do not wish to get into particular troop quantity (inaudible) for the Russian…

KIRBY:  You are proper. I do not.

QUESTION:  OK. I guessed proper. While you discuss extra capabilities being introduced in both over the past 24 to 48 hours…

KIRBY:  Right.

QUESTION:  … and final week you talked about a few of these capabilities and sustainment. Are you able to say something extra about what these capabilities are which are persevering with to be flown in? Is it extra of the identical or extra offensive capabilities?

KIRBY:  Simply broadly talking, Matt, we have talked in regards to the presence as offering him mixed arms capabilities, proper? So it is infantry, it is armor, it is artillery, it is air and missile protection in addition to offensive air. I imply, he is obtained a whole lot of fight plane now at his skill. He is obtained vital naval energy contained in the Black Sea, and never misplaced on anybody {that a} good chunk of these ships, at the very least half a dozen of them are LSTs. They’re touchdown ships with one goal, and that is to place troops to shore.

He is obtained particular operations functionality. He is obtained cyber functionality. He is obtained ISR functionality, and over the previous weeks and months he is continued so as to add to that. So I do not know that I might go so glibly as to say effectively it is simply extra of the identical, however when it comes to the menu of choices he continues so as to add to that throughout the entire spectrum of army capabilities, and I believe I would most likely simply go away it at that.

And however you additionally talked about sustainment, and we now have undoubtedly seen in current weeks including logistics and sustainment functionality in order that it is fairly clear that if he desires to he is going to make sure that he can hold these troops within the discipline for longer durations of time. And that is all the pieces from transportation to produce chains to medical help, so we proceed to see that being added. Does that assist?


KIRBY:  Sure. Tony?

QUESTION:  What steps are being taken to ensure the whole 82nd Airborne’s fast response pressure now that you just’re sending to Poland that they are staying away from any hurt’s manner in case there’s – if there’s an invasion? Will their location be just about central Poland and nowhere close to border?

KIRBY:  I am going to let the commander discuss the place he’ll put these troops, Tony. They will be despatched over there for a spread of potential contingencies. They’re multi-mission succesful as you understand.

QUESTION:  Positive.

KIRBY:  And as we have talked about if one of many contingencies are, if one of many wants are to assist with evacuation help on the Polish facet of the border as folks come throughout the border, ought to they arrive throughout that border and need assistance, they’re going to be ready to try this.

And if that is going to be the mission that you’ll conduct, you are going to must be someplace close to that border, proper? However once more, I will not get forward of – I will not get forward of leaders on the bottom and what they’re doing. However I do wish to simply – I do know we have stated this earlier than. It is price repeating. There is no intention, there is no plan, and there is no approval to place these troops into Ukraine. They’re being despatched to Poland. They will keep in Poland.

QUESTION:  Nevertheless it’s primarily deliberate you understand, you’ve got heard it stated they may by accident be drawn in. I imply, there’s…

KIRBY:  They are not going to be by accident drawn into Ukraine.

QUESTION:  They are not?


QUESTION:  OK. They really – what is the stage of intelligence sharing with Ukraine between the U.S. and Ukraine? You hinted at it earlier that you just’re sharing broadly, however are you giving them a granular tactical intelligence?

KIRBY:  I might inform you that we now have been very clear with our Ukrainian companions in regards to the intelligence assessments that we have been seeing and the issues that we have been seeing in that surroundings, and I am comfy and assured that it has been of a ample stage of element to persuade. Put it that manner. 

Jeff Seldin, VOA?

QUESTION:  John, thanks very a lot for doing this. Some questions on Russia and Ukraine. First, was the Pentagon conscious that the Ukrainian President was going to publish on Fb at this time about Russia invading on Wednesday? And likewise for weeks you and others within the U.S. authorities have been sharing details about potential Russian false flag operations, how Russia might launch army motion in Ukraine. Are there any indications that the warnings out of your (inaudible) and others has carried out something to alter Russia’s calculus and if not was it price it?

And at last, if I could, has the U.S. been requested by any allies or companions in Jap Europe for assist getting ready for an inflow of refugees on account of something Russia would possibly do? Thanks.

KIRBY:  OK, there’s an terrible lot there, Jeff. On Mr. Zelensky’s Fb publish I do not know whether or not anyone right here within the constructing was conscious of that, Jeff, I actually wasn’t. However — however that does not actually say something. I do not also have a Fb account. However I do not — I do not know, Jeff.

I imply, I can take the query to see. I might, you understand, simply level out that he is — he is the president of Ukraine, he can publish on Fb what he desires, and when he desires. He does not must run that by anyone or search approval from us. , he is the — he is the chief of a sovereign state.

So I am going to examine to see if we had any type of heads up however I might, frankly, be stunned if we did. And that is completely OK. On the false flag query, I imply, you understand, what I might simply inform you is we proceed to see indications within the intelligence that they are — that the Russians are exploring that possibility. And I believe I would just go away it at that.

On — on refugees, our — the main focus of the troops which are going over there as I discussed in my reply to I believe it was Matt, that multi-mission succesful, actually, help with evacuation movement is one thing that they may do, and will do fairly effectively. And they’ll be working with Polish authorities on what that appears like, and the way they’d deal with that.

I do know of no different efforts inside at the very least U.S. troops in Europe that — to contribute to — to love operations ought to they be wanted. However clearly, one of many nice issues in regards to the U.S. army is that it is multi-mission succesful, is that it is versatile.

And as you heard the secretary say when he was up right here a few weeks in the past, if that is one thing we’re known as on to do outdoors of Ukraine, you understand, we would definitely be capable of contribute to that type of mission.

The — your query although, and pardon me for — for foot-stomping once more, however, you understand, it — it is a good query but it surely — but it surely will get to an final result right here that does not must be. There — there should not be a necessity for evacuation help, there should not be a necessity for folks to — to — to must flee their homeland.

As a result of there should not be any invasion of it, a sovereign state by one other nation-state subsequent door. Who clearly has proven aggressive tendencies right here, and an alarming build-up of army capabilities, and positively, has proven no signal but of being keen to de-escalate or an unwillingness to take these capabilities off the desk.

And to discover a actual diplomatic path ahead. And I believe it is vital to recollect, once more, not that this actually solutions your query particularly, however ought to they conduct one other main army motion, actual lives will likely be in danger. Ukrainian lives to make sure but in addition Russian lives. This — this won’t be cold, this won’t be straightforward.

And — and never solely will you see folks making an attempt to flee the nation however you are going to see folks critically damage and critically killed on account of it. And there is no purpose for it. The Russians can de-escalate instantly, they may simply sit down and take critically a diplomatic path ahead, and cease this now.

In order that there isn’t any want for folks to must flee their houses. So that there’s — there are not any causalities, there isn’t any bloodshed. It is — it is — it is inside Mr. Putin’s energy to make the precise determination now. And clearly, we hope to see him do this. OK, thanks all people, respect it.

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