Feb 18, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Defense secretary: Potential for Russian invasion "not a bluff"

The possibility of a Russian invasion into Ukraine is "not a bluff" and could happen "any day," Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in an interview with ABC News' Martha Raddatz.

State of play: The Austin interview, which will air in full on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, follows President Biden's remarks earlier on Friday in which he said that he is "convinced" that Russian President Vladimir Putin has made the decision to invade Ukraine, and that U.S. intelligence indicates he will target Kyiv — the capital and a city of 2.8 million people.

What he's saying: "I think he's assembled the right kind — the kinds of things that you would need to conduct a successful invasion," the defense secretary said.

  • "If they were redeploying to garrison, we wouldn't be seeing the kinds of things in terms of, not only combat power, but also logistical support, medical support, combat aviation that we've seen in the region," he added.

Go deeper: Biden says he's "convinced" Putin has decided to invade Ukraine

Go deeper