JOE BIDEN has raised the alarm with Western allies warning that Russia might attack Ukraine before sunrise tomorrow, but the reason why is rather surprising.
The US President has reportedly informed his allies the Russian invasion of its neighbours could be launched tonight. Rob Lee, a security expert, suggested Russia might strike on this specific date (February 16) as the skies will be illuminated by the Moon. He said: “Another relevant factor for the timing of a potential Russian military escalation: night illumination, which is important for operations at night.
“Illumination peaks on February 16 and falls to 52 percent by February 23.
“If the political decision has been made to use force, night illumination is one of the factors that would determine the exact timing, which might be one reason why the US government thinks February 16 is the likely date for an escalation.”
This comes as a phenomenon known as the Snow Moon is set to grace the skies tonight.
The bright full moon will be put on display tonight and should remain full the night after.
The Snow Moon is the second full moon of the year and should be at its brightest (100 percent illumination) at 16:56 GMT (11:56 EST).
Its name derives from cold temperatures associated with February, the month it appears.
Russia may now be hoping to use the Snow Moon to its advantage.
While Russia does appear to be withdrawing some of its troops away from the border with Ukraine, the West does not seem so convinced that is backing down from an invasion.
In its statement, Russia’s Defence Ministry claimed it was pulling back some of its soldiers that were conducting military exercises at military districts bordering Ukraine.
Defence Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said: “A number of combat training exercises, including drills, have been conducted as planned.”
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova even claimed this day will be remembered as “the day western war propaganda failed”, adding: “They have been disgraced and destroyed without a single shot being fired.”
But NATO has argued Russia has in not actually shown any signs of de-escalation.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said: “On the contrary, it appears that Russia continues their military build-up.”
Mr Biden also did not seem convinced.
He said: “Indeed, our analysts indicate that they (Russia) remain very much in a threatening position.”