Courting allies, publicizing Putin’s plans: In Biden’s race to prevent war

The Dec. 3 document became the first in a series of efforts to declassify intelligence on Russian plans by the United States and Britain, which would include details of a Russian sabotage campaign, coup plot of State, an elaborate effort to use a fake video to create a pretext for the invasion and other false flag operations plotted by the Russian military intelligence agency, the GRU

Mr. Biden and Mr. Putin spoke via secure video link for one hour and 59 minutes on the morning of December 7, just three days after the release of the declassified document. According to US officials, the president offered Mr. Putin a choice: accept diplomacy or risk serious economic and political consequences from the sanctions that would be imposed after an invasion of Ukraine.

In some ways, Mr. Biden was clearly prepared for the moment. Having visited Ukraine half a dozen times over the past decade, he knows the country better than any other US president. His foreign policy team is made up of what are often called “Atlanticists,” who have spent their lives thinking about European security. (Antony J. Blinken, the Secretary of State, grew up in Paris.)

Aides also said Mr. Biden’s long history with Mr. Putin made him less sensitive to the Russian president’s tactics. In conversations about Ukraine, officials said Mr. Putin often liked to lay out for long periods of time the finer details of the Minsk Agreement, a complicated, years-old diplomatic effort with Ukraine, hoping to confuse the situation.

On Christmas Day last year, the Russian military publicly announced the withdrawal of 10,000 troops from the Ukrainian border, calling it proof that Mr Putin had no intention of invading his neighbor anytime soon.

Inside the White House, the president and his team did not believe it.

Intelligence officials had seen repeated instances in which the Russians moved a battalion tactical group close to the border, set up the infrastructure necessary for a quick invasion, then withdrew the troops, leaving a shell that could be used by other troops. other battalions, the Russian National Guard or other military forces loyal to Mr. Putin.