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Russia is labeling a U.S. assessment of a possible invasion of Ukraine as "scaremongering," as the Biden administration moves to bolster NATO forces in the region.
Russia's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyanskiy, reacted to a headline of a report in The Washington Post citing a U.S. military and intelligence assessment on Saturday that said, "Russia could seize Kyiv in days and cause 50,000 civilian deaths in Ukraine."
Polyanskiy called the headline "Madness and scaremongering."
"Madness and scaremongering continues..what if we would say that US could seize London in a week and cause 300K civilian deaths? All this based on our intelligence sources that we won't disclose. Would it feel right for Americans and Britts? It's as wrong for Russians and Ukrainians," Polyanskiy wrote on Twitter.
The comments come as the U.S. and its allies are becoming increasingly concerned that the Kremlin is planning an incursion against Ukraine - Russia has amassed more than 100,000 troops near the border with its neighbor. Moscow, however, has denied having any such plans.
The Biden administration announced on Wednesday that it would deploy and reposition more than 3,000 U.S. troops to strengthen Eastern European allies, the first such move to bolster NATO's power in the region.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby then announced on Thursday that officials believe Russian may plan to create a pretext to invade Ukraine by producing a propaganda video that illustrates aggression toward Russians.
"We do have information that the Russians are likely to want to fabricate a pretext for an invasion," Kirby told reporters.
"One option is the Russian government, we think, is planning to stage a fake attack by Ukrainian military or intelligence forces against Russian sovereign territory, or against Russian speaking people, to therefore justify their action," he added.