Multiple White House officials are currently telling various major US news outlets that the US now believes Putin has made the decision to attack Ukraine.Once again Moscow is “calling bullshit”. Late at night Friday local time, the Kremlin responded to the latest headline panic-fest in the aftermath of the White House afternoon briefing, calling the new ‘predictions’ yet more US “disinformation”

Source: Zero Hedge

Update(4:05pmET): Despite the as usual contradictory messaging out of this administration, on the one hand serving up another dose of afternoon panic and market turmoil on the news Russia will invade Ukraine in a matter of days (it’s been “days” and “imminent” for multiple weeks at this point), nothing seems to have actually changed on the ground at the Russia-Ukraine border… though Blinken has claimed Russian troops have moved closer to the border. 

Multiple White House officials are currently telling various major US news outlets that the US now believes Putin has made the decision to attack Ukraine – though in a public news briefing Jake Sullivan still presented a confused picture… on the one hand telling US citizens to exit Ukraine immediately as a military offensive is nigh, but on the other cautioning he’s still not sure Putin has made the final decision.

And now once again Moscow is “calling bullshit”. Late at night Friday local time, the Kremlin responded to the latest headline panic-fest in the aftermath of the White House afternoon briefing, calling the new ‘predictions’ yet more US “disinformation”.. according to the news wires:

RUSSIA SAYS BY SPREADING DISINFORMATION ABOUT PLANNED RUSSIAN INVASION OF UKRAINE WESTERN COUNTRIES WANT TO DISTRACT ATTENTION FROM THEIR OWN AGGRESSIVE ACTIONS

And here’s Secretary of State Blinken from earlier in the day:

…Blinken said new Russian forces had arrived at the border in what he described as “very troubling signs of Russian escalation”.

“We’re in a window when an invasion could begin at any time, and to be clear, that includes during the Olympics [which end on 20 February],” Mr Blinken said.

There are reports that the US Embassy in Kiev is literally phoning US national directly, urging their departure:

The EU has said it will not reduce diplomatic staff in the country, however, other countries are telling their nationals to leave, including Israel and the UK:

Among other countries calling on citizens to leave are the UK, the Netherlands, Latvia, Japan and South Korea. The British foreign office said all UK nationals “should leave now while commercial means are still available”.

In its warning, Latvia cited “a serious threat to security posed by Russia”.

Biden is now reportedly seeking to hold an urgent phone call with Putin. “US President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin will speak on Saturday, according to an official,” Bloomberg reports.

And with all this, a little Friday humor is in order…

Update(2:51pmET): The White House is now telling Americans in Ukraine to get out of the country “immediately” – giving a 24 to 48 hour time frame to make a safe exit. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan urged all US citizens in Ukraine “to depart immediately.” The number of Americans in the country is often estimated in the tens of thousands – likely somewhere around 30,000 – including dual citizens.

U.S. ORDERS ADDITIONAL 3,000 TROOPS TO POLAND

“We want to be crystal clear on this point. Any American in Ukraine should leave as soon as possible and in any event, in the next 24 to 48 hours,” Sullivan said. “We obviously cannot predict the future. We don’t know exactly what is going to happen, but the risk is now high enough and the threat is now immediate enough.” If they stay, Americans “are assuming risk with no guarantee that there will be any other opportunity to leave and no prospect of a US Military evacuation in the event of a Russian invasion,” he added.

“It is the time to leave now,” he said. “We are in the window when an invasion could begin at any time should Vladimir Putin decide to order it.” Sullivan also in the afternoon press briefing said it’s US intelligence’s belief that Putin could launch an invasion by the end of the Olympics

“We continue to see signs of Russian escalation including now forces arriving at the border. As we’ve said before, we’re in the window when an invasion could begin at any time should Vladimir Putin decide to order it. I will not comment on the details of our intelligence information but I do want to be clear, it could begin during the Olympics, despite a lot of speculation that it will only happen after the Olympics.”

As oil spiked and markets tumbled, there was this to follow all the panicked warnings coming out of the White House… “but an official says the U.S. doesn’t know whether Russia has decided either way,” according to the WSJ.