The Buildup To War In Ukraine – February 13 2022
In early 2022 Ukraine had finished the preparations for an overwhelming attack on the renegade People Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk (DPR and LNR).
Half of the Ukrainian army, some 120,000 men recruited and trained during the last 7 years, were stationed near the ceasefire line and ready to go. On the opposing side only some 40,000 men were under arms. They would have little chance to withstand an onslaught.
Russia could not let a Ukrainian attack happen. If Ukraine could regain the renegade provinces it would have been able to join NATO. Russian public opinion was decisively on the side of the Russian speaking DNR and LPR. It would surely demand an intervention. Since the 2014 coup in Kiev some four million Ukrainians had already moved to Russia. There are lots of family ties between the two countries. In sight of this Russia had put some of its own forces on alert and had moved weapons and munition to assembling points near the Ukrainian border.
The U.S. had for months warned of an upcoming Russian attack on Ukraine. It could do that because it knew the Ukraine would attempt to regain the republics by force. It knew that Russia would have to respond. On January 12 2022 CIA director Bill Burns had secretly met Zelensky in Kiev. Burns often carries messages from President Joe Biden.
On Sunday February 13 2022, after a phone call with U.S. president Joe Biden, the Ukrainian president Zelensky gave the final order for the planned Ukrainian attack.
That the decision had been made was immediately leaked in London as well as in Kiev.
In its summary of the day the Guardian listed a lot of activities that were consistent with the imminent start of a conflict. Diplomats and foreign military were moving out of Ukraine. Weapons flew in.
Tipped off by its government the British insurance conglomerate Lloyd stopped reinsurance services for anything Ukraine:
Anatoliy Ivantsiv, head of Ukrainian insurance firm Expo, told Interfax that British reinsurance giant Lloyds announced it would temporarily cease all conflict risk insurance over Ukrainian airspace from Feb. 14.
When the news of the attack order leaked in Kiev, its ‘elite’ oligarchs and some parliament members were ready to leave. On February 13 and the following days they fled the country:
Ukraine’s richest men are fleeing the country with their families as the number of private jet charters jump after the possibility of war spiked in recent days, according to flight traffic information posted on social media on February 13.
Switzerland, Austria and the south of France were the most popular destinations for the charter flights.
Ukrainska Pravda stated that such an exodus on charter flights hasn’t been witnessed in six years of observations. The publication reported that planes belonging the country’s top oligarchs, including Rinat Akhmetov, Viktor Pinchuk, and Boris Kolesnikov, as having left the country. A private plane for 50 people was also ordered by Igor Abramovich, another top business figure.
bne IntelliNews sources confirm that two residential English tutors, both British citizens, working for an MP and a businessman respectively, will leave for the south of France this week. Neither confirmed that the flights had anything to do with increased fears over an invasion, as both families travel regularly with their staff for work holidays. Even last month, when the war drums began to beat more loudly for the first time, tutors and teachers working at private schools in Kyiv reported a large number of children absent, away on holidays.
Some members of the Ukrainian parliament were also bailing out. on February 14 Kiev Independent reported:
More than two dozen lawmakers out of a total 424 MPs, who are due to attend parliamentary sessions starting this week, are not currently in Ukraine. Almost half, or 12 deputies, are from the pro-Russian party Opposition Platform-for Life, five deputies are from the presidential Servant of the People party. Most of the lawmakers, or 20 people, left the country in February.
As part of the Minsk agreement the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) had a Special Observer Mission at the ceasefire line in east-Ukraine. Over the weekend of February 12 and 13 the front had been relatively quiet:
In Donetsk region, between the evenings of 11 and 13 February, the Mission recorded 261 ceasefire violations, including 50 explosions. In the previous reporting period, it recorded 114 ceasefire violations in the region.
In Luhansk region, between the evenings of 11 and 13 February, the SMM recorded 114 ceasefire violations, including 24 explosions. In the previous reporting period, it recorded 258 ceasefire violations in the region.
The observed numbers of explosion were less than the average of the last 7 and 30 day periods. Explosions occurred on both sides of the ceasefire line.