Washington (NewsNation Now) – President Joe Biden is set to announce tensions around the world over a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine after unusually dire U.S. warnings that the Kremlin could order an invasion any day.
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Russia is likely to have recruited 169,000 to 190,000 staff in and around Ukraine, up from about 100,000 on Jan. 30, said Michael Carpenter, the U.S. permanent representative to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
In addition to troops along the border, in neighboring Belarus and Crimea, he said, the assessment includes forces led by Russia in eastern Ukraine, as well as internal security units deployed in these areas. It was unclear whether these forces were included in the latest estimate of 150,000 troops.
Biden said Thursday in the United States “Every indication” a potential Russian attack on Ukraine in a matter of days. U.S. officials have outlined harsh scenarios Potential plans by President Vladimir Putin as Russian troops remain on the border with Ukraine.
This comes at a time when Vice President Kamala Harris has declared NATO unity amid the escalation of the crisis in Ukraine and warned Russia that the US and Western allies are ready to respond with harsh sanctions if President Vladimir Putin moves forward with the invasion of Ukraine.
At a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the start of the annual Munich Security Conference, Harris thanked the alliance for “everything you have done” during the crisis.
“We are, of course, still open and we want diplomacy regarding the dialogue and discussions we have had with Russia, but we are also committed, if Russia takes aggressive action, to ensuring that it will have severe consequences in terms of sanctions that we discussed it, ”Harris told Stoltenberg. “And we know the alliance is strong in that regard.”
Biden warned on Tuesday that if Russia invades Ukraine, the United States will “unite the world to resist its aggression.”
“We are not looking for a direct conflict with Russia,” Biden said, and this war will be a “war of choice” and a “self-inflicted wound.”
The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted overwhelmingly in favor of unwavering support for independent Ukraine and “condemnation” of Russia’s military aggression against its neighbor, but refused to accept sanctions amid a guerrilla stalemate.
This story is evolving. Update for updates.