US military on high alert amid fears of Russian invasion of Ukraine
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A new US intelligence report showed Russia could launch an attack on Ukraine as early as January after months of growing tension between Moscow and Washington. Vladimir Putin has been building up military presence along Ukraine’s eastern border for months, sparking fears the Russian leader may seek to finish off his bid to incorporate his neighbour. Fox News reporter Madeleine Rivera said: “A senior US defence official has said they’re taking the Kremlin signals seriously, with nearly 170,000 Russian troops already stationed along Ukraine’s eastern border.
“And a US intelligence report shows those plans for a potential invasion of the Ukraine as soon as early next year could involve as many as 175,000 troops.
“The report comes as Russia’s President Vladimir Putin blames US military equipment and activity getting closer to Russian borders.”
She continued: “Putin is also adamant the US guarantee the Ukraine won’t be admitted into NATO alliance, a demand the US has brushed off.
“The Biden Administration is threatening serious consequences, including economic sanctions if Russia takes further action.”
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Ms Rivera added: “The President is doubling on that statement Friday, vowing the US will make it very difficult for Putin to carry out his offensive.”
President Biden is scheduled to hold a video call with Vladimir Putin on Tuesday to discuss the growing tension at the border.
White House Press Secretary Jan Psaki said: “Biden will underscore U.S. concerns with Russian military activities on the border with Ukraine and reaffirm the United States’ support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”
“Strategic stability, cyber and regional issues” will also be discussed during their conversation.
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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskow told Reuters: “The conversation will indeed take place on Tuesday.
“Bilateral relations, of course, Ukraine and the realization of the agreements reached in Geneva are the main (items) on the agenda.”
President Biden told the press before a break to Camp David that his “expectation is we’re going to have a long discussion with Putin”, adding: “I don’t accept anybody’s red lines.”
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Moscow has dismissed suggestions that it is preparing for an attack on its southern neighbor as inflammatory.
US-Russia relations have been deteriorating for years, especially because of Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea as well as its 2015 intervention in Syria and claims of electoral meddling in the 2016 election.
President Biden asked Putin to crack down on ransomware and cybercrime attacks emanating from Russian soil, and in November charged a Ukraine national and a Russian in one of the worst ransomware attacks against American targets.
Russia has repeatedly denied carrying out or tolerating cyber attacks.
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