Russia accuses US of 'propaganda campaign' about Ukraine invasion

Russia has accused the West of ignoring its security proposals in a frosty call with the US.

Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov spoke to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the phone on Saturday in a bid to diffuse tension over Ukraine.

Lavrov accused America of a ‘propaganda campaign’ about Russian aggression.

He also said the US and EU are pursuing ‘active goals’ in Ukraine while ignoring its proposals on security.

Russia has denied plans to invade its neighbouring country despite massing over 100,000 troops on the border. It has also started massive military drills with Belarus, while Ukraine has accused it of blocking its access to the sea.

The US, UK and many other countries are advising their citizens to leave Ukraine immediately amid fears of an attack could happen ‘any day now’.

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The US has assessed that a ground invasion could happen as soon as Wednesday, intelligence officials told POLITICO, while cyberattacks can be expected sooner.

But Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky said such warnings are ‘provoking panic’ as he demanded to see firm proof.

Meanwhile, Russia has accused the US of hysteria and of using propaganda to seek cover for Ukrainian forces to attack Russian-backed separatists in the country’s east.

During today’s call, Blinken told Lavrov the diplomatic path remains ‘open’ but requires Moscow to de-escalate.

He earlier told reporters: ‘We’re in the window when a Russian invasion can start at any time if president Putin so decides.’

US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin will speak later today.

The current tensions come eight years after Russia annexed Ukraine’s southern Crimea peninsula. Since then, Ukraine’s military has been locked in a conflict with Russian-backed rebels in eastern areas near Russia’s border.

Moscow is pushing for sweeping changes to defence arrangements on the continent, scaling back Western military presence in country’s close to Russia’s border.

A demand to permanently block Ukraine from joining Nato has been rejected out of hand.

Ukraine’s leader said he could not confirm reports of an invasion next week – though he did not rule it out.

Asked by Sky News if he disagrees with the American assessment that there is an imminent threat, he said: ‘We don’t agree or disagree with any information.”

‘We have to be ready each day, it began not yesterday, it began in 2014.’

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