Tensions between Russia and Ukraine are mounting, along with concerns from the West.
President of the United States, Joe Biden He warned that his country would not accept Moscow crossing the “Red Fort” amid growing fears that the Kremlin was planning an immediate invasion of Ukraine.
Over the weeks, Russia has again begun to gather troops on the border with its neighbors, which it has been fighting since the 2014 invasion of Crimea.
Intelligence sources leaked to US press reports this week that there were fears that Russia was planning a major offensive involving 175,000 troops early next year.
Officials say there has been an increase in propaganda efforts using proxies and the media to discredit Ukraine and NATO ahead of a possible invasion.
The President of the United States He said Russia would “make it very difficult” for it to invade its neighbor.
“What I am doing is putting together what I think are the most comprehensive and meaningful initiatives of the most difficult and most difficult initiatives for Putin to move forward and make people care about what he is doing,” Biden said.
This Saturday, it was announced that he would hold a video conference with President Putin next Tuesday to discuss Russian expansion on the border with Ukraine.
On Thursday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blingen also met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss the issue and threatened to impose new sanctions on the Kremlin.
What Russia says
The Russian government has questioned the invasion reports as “hysterical” from the West and has justified the movement of troops through recent NATO military exercises in the Black Sea.
Appearing on state television in November, Putin said Moscow was concerned about unannounced exercises involving a “powerful naval force” and an aircraft carrying strategic nuclear weapons.
In his view, this was a “serious challenge” to Russia.
What Ukraine says
The Ukrainian government initially denied reports of Russian deployment, eventually making the advance of the troops undeniable and keeping its military alert.
Since coming to power, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has made several moves against the interests of the Kremlin in Ukraine, imposed sanctions on a powerful ally of the Russian president and banned the broadcasts of three pro-Russian television stations.
It has also stepped up efforts to recognize Ukraine as a NATO member, which Russia vehemently opposes.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said this week that his government fears that any Russian expansion will be “by the end of January”.
This week a top UK military official warned that “we must be careful” about the possibility of conflict in the region.
General Nick Carter told the BBC he “clearly believed” that there would be no war with Russia, but that NATO should be prepared for that event.
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine are not new.
In 2014, Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine and began supporting a separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine, which occasionally killed about 14,000 people in fighting.