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Why is Wednesday an important date for the Russia Ukraine conflict?

Russian military build-up has been shown by western intelligence, but Ukraine is adamant that talk of war is premature.

Zelensky spoke to Biden for just under one hour on February 13, 2022, as Western fears grow that Russia is about to invade the ex-Soviet state. The talks come one day after the White House reported there had been no breakthrough during a one-hour phone co
Gints Ivuskans, Jim WatsonAFP

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba announced on Monday that Ukraine was calling for a direct meeting with Russia and a European security group to discuss the Russian troop numbers that were operating in Russia.

The oft-quoted number of 100,000 troops near to Ukraine may give people the impression that tanks are ready to roll over the border, but this number includes those normally stationed in Russia's many bases in the south of the country, according to the BBC.

Wednesday remains another pivotal day as various powers vie to stamp their mark on proceedings. Will Russia invade, or will their diplomatic sleight of hand result in a strengthening of Russia's position in Eastern Europe?

Why American media was reporting Ukrainian expectations of war for February 16

A translation from American news media seemed to suggest Ukraine was bracing for war on Wednesday, despite weeks of attempts to calm tensions by President Zelensky's government.

A sarcastic quip from the former comedian-turned-politician appeared to be the first acceptance from Ukraine that war was imminent.

The translation in English was:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks to the media during a joint press conference.
Full screen
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks to the media during a joint press conference.Chris McGrathGetty Images

We are told that February 16 will be the day of the attack.

Ukrainian President Zelensky

His spokesperson later clarified that he had been merely referencing other media reports, but not before the story was ran by numerous news outlets, such as CNN in the US.

In reality, the Ukrainian president was joking that Ukraine would hold a national day of celebration to ease fears from an invasion. The Ukrainian economy has been under pressure since western media has continuously ratcheted up the likelihood of conflict, as investment and economic growth has dropped over the first two months of 2022. Thousands have fled westwards away from a likely front line.

What has happened on Tuesday?

Early news reports from Tuesday morning suggested that there was movement of Russian troops away from Ukraine. However, NATO has refused to call this a deescalation, and says war is still as likely as ever.

The Russian parliament also announced they would move to recognize two breakaway states in Western Ukraine as independent, preventing tensions from falling to their lowest ebb in recent weeks.