Biden thinks that Putin has decided to invade Ukraine

“As of this moment, I’m convinced he’s made the decision."

By Kelly McClure

Published February 18, 2022 8:02PM (EST)

President Joe Biden addresses reporters at a press gaggle. (Getty Images)
President Joe Biden addresses reporters at a press gaggle. (Getty Images)

President Biden made it clear during a press conference held on Friday afternoon that he believes Putin has already made up his mind about Russia invading Ukraine.

When asked directly, "Do you have any indication about whether Pres. Putin has made a decision on whether to invade?" Biden didn't hesitate to answer "As of this moment I'm convinced he's made the decision. We have reason to believe that." 

Watch the ask and answer:

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"We have reason to believe the Russian forces are planning to, intend to, attack Ukraine in the coming week, in the coming days," said Biden during the press conference held in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. "We believe that they will target Ukraine's capital Kyiv, a city of 2.8 million innocent people."

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In The New York Times coverage of the press conference they point out that Biden was the most direct this afternoon in terms of how close he believes we are to seeing a war between Russia and Ukraine. Although the threat of this seems realer than ever, Biden believes there's still hope for de-escalation.

"It is not too late to de escalate and return to the negotiating table," Mr. Biden said, referring to planned talks between Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Russia's foreign minister have agreed to talks next Wednesday. "If Russia takes military action before that day, it will be clear that they have slammed the door shut on diplomacy."

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Kelly McClure

Kelly McClure is a journalist and fiction writer who lives in New Orleans. She is Salon's Nights and Weekends editor, and her work has been featured in Vulture, The A.V. Club, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Nylon, Vice, and elsewhere. She is the author of Something is Always Happening Somewhere

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