[Global Times correspondent in Russia and Ukraine Sui Xin Tan Wujun Ren Zhong Liu Yupeng] Since the series of security talks between Russia and the United States and the West ended without results, the public opinion war between the two sides has continued to escalate.

The United States and the West have been hyping up Russia's threat to "invade" Ukraine and signaled sanctions against Russia; while Moscow continued to refute the "invasion plan", it expressed an uncompromising stance.

Speculations of a "collapse" in Ukraine continue to grow.

Bloomberg News predicted on the 17th that "diplomatic contacts will continue until a few hours before the war begins", and then Russia "will occupy Ukraine like Germany annexed Austria in 1938."

According to the "New York Times" report, the U.S. government has even planned to train insurgent troops for Ukraine in Eastern European countries such as Poland, Romania and Slovakia in the event of "Russian invasion and occupation of Ukraine".

As the United States keeps beating the drums of war, Moscow also hinted that it is preparing a corresponding war plan.

Russian Presidential Press Secretary Peskov said at a press conference on the 17th: "(US Deputy Secretary of State) Ms. Nuland said that the United States has 18 scenarios for the escalation of the situation in Ukraine. We are also considering different scenarios.

White House hypothetical "Ukrainian subjugation"

  CNN said on the 17th that McCall, the Republican leader of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, said that the United States and Russia are in a new Cold War "because Putin smells the vulnerability of the United States."

"Putin thinks the invasion of Ukraine is at the right time," McCall said. "I hope he doesn't make that miscalculation. But if he invades Ukraine, is the United States, our commander-in-chief, ready?"

  The New York Times reported on the 16th that, given the scale of the mobilization of ground troops, “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may not be to take over the entire country, but to send troops into separate areas around Donetsk and Luhansk, or all the way to the Dnieper River. ".

The report quoted a senior U.S. official as saying that the Pentagon was studying "five or six options of varying degrees for Russia's invasion of Ukraine."

  According to reports, in recent days social media showed that more Russian military equipment was being transported westward from Siberia by train, while Russian state television frequently warned that "Ukraine may soon attack Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine".

In a telephone interview with The New York Times on the 16th, Russian TV commentator Brzynski said he predicted that Ukraine would soon provoke a "limited" war and that Russia would win quickly through "devastating air strikes."

"There will be no tank units," Buzinski said, adding that the Russians "will only destroy Ukrainian infrastructure from the air."

  The New York Times reported on the 15th that Washington even assumed Ukraine’s “subjugation”: “A senior White House official said that if Russia occupied Ukraine, the CIA would train uprisings for Ukraine in Eastern European countries such as Poland, Romania and Slovakia. "In addition, Washington and its NATO partners are preparing to provide Ukraine with weapons, medical equipment, and refugee asylum for Ukrainian citizens."

  The Ukrainian Journalist Network commented that the results of a series of security talks between Russia and the United States and the West were disappointing.

In short, Russia failed to persuade the US and the West to deny Ukraine the prospect of joining NATO, and the West failed to obtain assurances from Moscow that it would not invade Ukraine.

The risk of war in the OSCE region is "greater than at any time in the past 30 years".

  According to Agence France-Presse, the Ukrainian "chocolate king" Poroshenko, who was defeated by Zelensky in the 2019 presidential election, suddenly flew back to Kiev from Warsaw, Poland, on the 17th, after he was investigated for "treason" and left Ukraine.

Poroshenko said he was back this time to help Ukraine face the "growing threat of Russian aggression."

According to Agence France-Presse, Russia is accused of " Chenbing 100,000 soldiers" near the Ukrainian border to "prepare for a possible new invasion", while Ukraine blamed Russia for a large-scale cyber attack it suffered in the early morning of the 14th, and analysts are worried "This could be a prelude to a military attack."

 Cuban Missile Crisis Version 2.0?

  In addition to the "100,000 Russian soldiers" near the Ukrainian border, recent reports from the United States and other Western media show that they are also very worried about one thing, that is, "Russia may transfer nuclear weapons to a place not far from the US coastline, which may trigger the 1962 confrontation like the Cuban Missile Crisis".

  Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov said in an interview with Russian-language television in Moscow last week that Russia would not rule out deploying "military infrastructure" in Venezuela or Cuba if tensions between Russia and the United States continued to rise, The Wall Street Journal reported.

"I don't want to confirm anything, I'm not going to rule out anything. It depends on the actions of the U.S. side," he said, adding that recent talks have made no progress in resolving the Ukraine crisis. "There is no urgent reason to engage with the U.S. under these circumstances new negotiations".

  The Associated Press said that senior Biden administration officials rejected Ryabkov's statement: "We will not respond to intimidation. If Russia does start moving in this direction, we will deal with it decisively."

  The US "Capitol Hill" said that in 1962 the Soviet Union tried to deploy nuclear weapons in Cuba, leading to a confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union, which was the closest the two superpowers had come to a nuclear war during the Cold War.

In 2013 and 2018, Putin sent nuclear-capable bombers to Venezuela.

The 2018 deployment led to a diplomatic rift between then-U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

  "Cuba Crisis Version 2.0?" Latvia's "24 Hours" website said on the 16th that Venezuela has been a good customer of Russian arms for many years.

Russia did not send ICBMs to Cuba this time, but it did deploy bombers in Venezuela.

  When answering a question on the possibility of Russia deploying military forces in Latin America on the 17th, Peskov emphasized that we should not forget that Cuba and Venezuela are "sovereign states", "Of course, under the current situation, Russia is thinking about how to ensure its own security. Nuland The U.S. has 18 scenarios for an escalation in Ukraine, the woman said. We are also looking at different scenarios.”

"NATO is not a dove of peace"

  In an interview with CNN on the 16th, Peskov denounced NATO as "not a dove of peace, but a confrontation tool that is pressing towards the Russian border step by step."

He once again warned that a new round of sanctions against Russian high-level officials proposed by the United States will trigger a "break of diplomatic relations between Russia and the United States."

On the question of whether the Kremlin is considering holding a "Russian-U.S.-Ukraine trilateral summit", Peskov said that Moscow "does not believe that the United States should be involved in discussing Russian-Ukrainian relations."

He also said that he took note of Estonia's request to invite NATO troops to deploy to the country, saying that it just confirmed that Russia "is not the cause of heightened tensions".

  Recently, there has been a lot of bellicose remarks in the United States.

The "Miami Herald" said on the 16th that Putin pressed troops into Ukraine and threatened to deploy troops and military facilities in Cuba and Venezuela, aiming to force the Biden administration and its allies to submit.

Putin is not Khrushchev, and Biden is not Kennedy.

Abandoning Ukraine in the short term may seem to guarantee peace, but Churchill's 1938 words should make today's policymakers think twice: "You have to choose between war and shame. You choose shame, and you face war." A "weak America" ​​will lead to a more dangerous and uncertain world.

  McCall told CNN on the 17th, "Ukraine is Russia's breadbasket. Putin wants to restore the glory of the Soviet empire. He has wanted to do this for a long time."

He criticized the U.S. government for "talking hard, but not taking action" and "sanctions are already on the table, but more weapons need to be provided to Ukraine".

  According to sources, the U.S. government is meeting with several international energy companies to discuss contingency plans to supply natural gas to Europe in the event of a war, but these companies have told the U.S. government that the global natural gas supply is tight and cannot replace Russia’s large supply of gas to Europe. .

The British "Economist" said, "Even in the long run, cutting off Russia's gas supply completely is too ambitious."

  Perhaps it is the European countries that are most actively playing the role of "peace dove".

On the 17th, the German and French foreign ministers jointly visited the Donbas region of Ukraine. The Danish foreign minister also visited the Donbass before.

On the 18th, the German foreign minister will visit Moscow.

Bloomberg quoted a U.S. official as saying on the 17th that "the concern is the extent to which Germany will participate in potential U.S. retaliation against Russia."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after talks with the visiting Croatian foreign minister in Moscow on the 17th that Russia hopes to receive a reply from the United States and NATO to the draft security document submitted by Russia in the next few days.