Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has declared February 16, Wednesday, a day of unity. This date was chosen as the national day of unity as it was predicted by the United States government through intelligence reports that Russia would launch an attack on Ukrainian soil on that specific date. Instead, Russia announced that it was sending units back to their garrisons today.

In a statement released by Zelensky, he acknowledged that the situation of Ukraine is tense and that a war against them had been systematically waged from various fronts. For him, there are four fronts that Ukraine is facing: a potential military conflict on their borders; a diplomatic war where he stated that “they are trying to deprive us of the right to determine our own foreign policy course.” An energy war where they are currently experiencing shortages of natural gas, electricity, and coal, and lastly, an informational conflict where various key figures and countries (of which he did not refer to by name) are spreading panic through the media.

The signed day of unity decree asks every Ukrainian citizen in cities, towns, and villages in the country to raise the country’s flag with all residents singing the national anthem at 10 a.m. They are also advised to wear yellow and blue ribbons to show the world that the Ukrainian public is united in whatever conflict that may or may not arise.

“This is not the first threat that the strong Ukrainian people have faced. Two years ago, we, like the rest of the world, looked confused in the eyes of the pandemic. However, we united and with clear systemic steps practically defeated it. In this difficult time, the strong Ukrainian people have shown their best qualities – unity and the will to win,” the Ukrainian President said.

This statement comes after the talks between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin yielded no substantial improvements toward the crisis. It also comes after the United States had received intelligence reports that a full Russian invasion of Ukraine was to happen on February 16 starting with an incursion along the border. As a response to these reports, National Security Jake Sullivan has recommended that Americans in Ukraine should leave within 24to 48 hours. The US Embassy in Kyiv was also evacuated, with a small consulate remaining functional in Lviv for emergency communication purposes. Several other countries also followed suit.

Reports have also surfaced that the Russian government had been planning a false-flag attack, where US intelligence claiming to have discovered a ploy to create a fake video showing Ukrainians attacking Russian-speaking populations. However, when Pentagon Spokesperson John Kirby and State Department Spokesperson Ned Price were pressed by journalists for evidence regarding the fake video, no substantial evidence could be given.

Russian troops amassing near the border of Ukraine (Reuters via Independent). Source:
Russian troops amassing near the border of Ukraine (Reuters via Independent).

However, the evidence for an invasion does remain raw and sparse. In fact, just a few hours ago, Russia has begun pulling back some of its troops from the border with Ukraine as some military exercises have concluded, however, joint Belarusian-Russian military drills are still ongoing. Russian Defense Ministry Chief Spokesman Igor Konashenkov stated that several military districts were moving back to their military garrisons. US officials have remained skeptical about the significance of this withdrawal.

“Units of the Southern and Western military districts, having completed their tasks, have already begun loading onto rail and road transport and today they will begin moving to their military garrisons,” said the spokesman.