The Russian government took to social media on Wednesday to mock western predictions that it could invade Ukraine by that day.
On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukrainian intelligence indicated Wednesday could be the day Russian forces invade his country, a sign that was bolstered by the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine temporarily relocating its operations from the capital of Kyiv to Lviv, a city further west from the Ukrainian-Russian border.
Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted remarks by spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, who said, “Today we mark another day of the ‘start of war with Ukraine,’ which did not happen again, to the Western media outlets’ regret, no matter how hard they whip up the hysteria.”
“See for yourselves what the collective Western media and officials’ words are worth,” the Russian foreign ministry tweeted added with a video of a tumbleweed rolling through a desert over the sound of crickets.
The Russian Embassy in South Africa similarly tweeted, “16 February 2022. Meanwhile in Ukraine,” with a gif of the character Vincent Vega from the film Pulp Fiction standing around looking confused.
Russia’s mission to the European Union tweeted, “I can assure you that, as far as #Russia is concerned, there will be no attack this coming Wednesday. Nor will there be any escalation next week or the week after, or next month, – Vladimir #Chizhov.”
Russia’s defense ministry claimed on Tuesday that the more than 100,000 Russian troops gathered for months near Ukraine’s borders had only been taking part in military training scenarios, and troops that had completed their drills were actually returning to their home bases. Russian President Vladimir Putin also said Tuesday that he was ready to discuss security issues and trust-building measures with the U.S. and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies.
President Joe Biden and other members of his administration have said there have been no signs of Russian troops actually distancing themselves from Ukraine and a Russian invasion of the country may still come.
Biden said Russia’s troop withdrawal claim “would be good, but we have not yet verified that.” He said at over 150,000 Russian troops still remain “very much in a threatening position.”