Kremlin Lashes Out at U.S. After America Warns Ukraine Invasion on Its Way

The U.S. has warned that Russia could invade Ukraine in the coming days as military forces have increased at the border, but the Kremlin lashed out Tuesday, saying the predictions of an imminent attack are "hysteria" and "madness."

Kremlin foreign affairs adviser Yuri Ushakov said that the situation has "reached the point of absurdity," the Associated Press reported.

Russia has repeatedly denied it has plans to invade Ukraine, but Western nations have expressed concerns about an imminent attack as the Russians have amassed over 130,000 troops at the northern, southern and eastern borders of Ukraine. On Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that because of the "dramatic accelerating in the buildup of Russian forces," the U.S. was relocating its Ukraine embassy from Kyiv to the far western city of Lviv, near the border of Poland.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that U.S. warnings of an invasion were "war propaganda" by America and its allies, the AP reported. Zakharova also said the U.S. "needs a war at any price," charging that "provocations, disinformation and threats represent its favorite methods of solving its own problems."

Washington and the South Korean government have urged their nations' citizens to evacuate Ukraine immediately before any possible military action by Russia. Both countries announced a travel ban for the country, and President Joe Biden warned there won't be any rescue missions for American citizens if an invasion occurs.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the U.S. and some of its allies that moved most of their diplomats out of Ukraine were engaging in an act of "demonstrative hysteria." He added that the invasion warnings were "madness," the AP reported.

The U.S. warned this week that Russia would launch military action on Wednesday, but a Kremlin spokesperson said that this was "baseless hysteria" and that tensions had been overexaggerated by a buildup of Ukrainian forces and U.S. warnings of an imminent war, Reuters reported.

Last week, Russia engaged in military drills that are expected to last until February 20. More than 30,000 troops in Belarus are believed to be participating in the drills, which NATO says is the biggest Russian deployment since the Cold War. The drills came as troops, missiles and even fresh blood were being sent to the Ukrainian border, CNBC reported.

However, the Russian government announced Tuesday that some of the troops near the border were returning to their bases. Western officials and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy have urged caution at taking take Russia's claims at face value, CNBC reported.

"We in Ukraine have a rule: We don't believe what we hear, we believe what we see. If a real withdrawal follows these statements, we will believe in the beginning of a real de-escalation," Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said, according to CNBC.

The Kremlin said Russia always planned for the troops to return to their bases after their military exercises ended, Reuters reported.

Update 02/15/22, 10:01 a.m. ET: This story has been updated with more background and information.

Kremlin Says Idea of Imminent Attack "Hysteria"
The Kremlin has described U.S. warnings of an imminent attack on Ukraine as "hysteria" and "madness." Above, in a photo provided February 14 by the Russian Defense Ministry, Russian tanks participate during military drills in the Leningrad region. Russian Defense Ministry Press Service/AP Photo