searching for a reason
Moscow's report, which it filed with the United Nations, doubles down on its accusation that Ukraine is seeking the "genocide of the Russian-speaking population of Donbas," the documents read. The country's U.N. ambassador is also expected on Thursday to criticize both Ukraine and the West regarding "the plight of Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine," the Journal writes, per the report.
Earlier Thursday, the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian separatists accused one another of opening fire in Ukraine's war-torn eastern Donbas region, notes Axios. Kyiv "claims a kindergarten was struck, but no one was killed."
Both Ukrainian and Western officals had previously cautioned Russia could use separatist fighting to fabricate supposed grounds for an invasion. President Biden warned Russia could use a "false flag operation" to justify an attack, making the repeated claim of "genocide" particularly ominous at this time.
"Reports of alleged abnormal military activity by Ukraine in Donbas are a blatant attempt by the Russian government to fabricate pretexts for invasion," U.K. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss tweeted, per the Journal. "This is straight out of the Kremlin playbook."
Meanwhile, the Kremlin maintains the situation in Donbas is "ramping up" thanks to what it's calling provocative action on Ukraine's part.
"The situation at the borders of Russia may ignite at any moment," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Thursday.
Added Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: "Attempts to shift all the blame for what is happening around Ukraine onto Russia will not succeed."