Airlines Halt, Divert Flights Headed For Ukraine
Some airlines have canceled or diverted flights to Ukraine amid warnings from the West that an invasion by Russia is imminent despite intensive weekend talks between Moscow and Washington, Jim Heintz reported for the Associated Press (AP).
Photo Insert: View of Boryspil, Ukraine from an airplane window
In an hour-long call Saturday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Joe Biden said an invasion of Ukraine would cause “widespread human suffering” and that the West was committed to diplomacy to end the crisis but “equally prepared for other scenarios,” the White House said.
It offered no suggestion that the call diminished the threat of an imminent war in Europe. The White House said Biden would talk with Zelenskyy later Sunday.
On Friday, Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, warned that US intelligence shows a Russian invasion could begin within days. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has played down invasion concerns, urging the country to remain calm.
Russia denies it intends to invade Ukraine but has massed well over 100,000 troops near its border and has sent troops to exercises in neighboring Belarus. US officials say Russia’s buildup of firepower has reached the point where it could invade on short notice.
The US picked up intelligence that Russia is looking at Wednesday as a target date, according to an official familiar with the findings. The official, who was not authorized to speak publicly and did so only on condition of anonymity, would not say how definitive the intelligence was.