Ukraine sees no signs of an imminent Russian invasion later this week, the secretary of the country’s National Security and Defense Council, Oleksiy Danilov, said today.
“We are fully aware of what is happening in our country, we are aware of the risks that exist for our country, but the situation is completely under control and, what is more, we do not currently see that a full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation may take place on the 16th or 17th. We do not see it,” he told the media after a meeting with the leadership of the Verkhovna Rada (parliament).
Danilov thus responded to the warnings that President Joe Biden’s administration reportedly conveyed to its partners and allies last week about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine on these dates.
The secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine added that the threat from Russia is constant, but emphasized that the army, the security forces and bodies and the defense apparatus “are ready for any challenge we have”.
Already on Saturday Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky assured that “everything is under control” and asked not to spread panic.
“If you or others have additional information about a 100 percent (safe) invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation provide me with that information,” he said at an appearance in the Kherson region in the south of the country, where he oversaw Ukrainian military exercises.
Russia has 100,000 troops deployed on the border with Ukraine and is conducting military exercises in the Black Sea and Belarus, just a few kilometers from Kyiv, raising fears in the West that there could be an attack on the neighboring country at any moment.
The U.S. warnings have prompted aircraft insurers to warn Ukrainian airlines on Saturday that they will no longer cover aircraft flying over the airspace as of today.
The Ukrainian government had to assure that the airspace will remain open and adopt financial guarantees worth nearly $600 million to appease insurance and leasing companies.
Danilov reiterated today that “we are not closing our skies and we are not going to do it. There is no reason to do so,” he stressed.
The Dutch KLM informed on Saturday that it “stops flying to Ukraine”, after “a thorough safety analysis”, and the airlines of the Lufthansa group maintain, for the time being, flights to their destinations in Ukraine, Kiev, Lviv and Odessa, although they are watching the situation very closely.
The airline industry still remembers all too well the tragedy that occurred in 2014 when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, with 298 people on board, was shot down in eastern Ukraine by a Russian Buk missile fired from pro-Russian separatist territory, according to evidence presented at the trial being held in the Netherlands.