Tensions in the US and Russia over Ukraine: Live updates

PictureUkrainian soldiers this month in the front line of Marinka, a small town damaged by years of war, in the Donetsk region of Ukraine.
Credit…Tyler Hicks / The New York Times

Urgent diplomatic efforts to quell military action in Eastern Europe continued Friday, even as the Pentagon warned that Russia was continuing to gather more combat troops near its borders with Ukraine, and as President Biden reiterated the United States’ commitment to respond strongly to a Russian attack .

In a phone call Thursday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mr. Biden “reaffirmed the readiness of the United States, along with its allies and partners, to respond decisively” if Russia launched a military offensive, according to a White House statement. Mr. Biden is considering sending thousands of U.S. troops, along with warships and planes, to the region, though officials say he has so far ruled out sending more forces directly to Ukraine.

The Ukrainian leader, whose government has sought to calm down in light of U.S. warnings that a Russian attack is imminent, said he thanked Mr Biden for mobilizing allies to deter aggression from Moscow. But he pointed to the prospect of a diplomatic solution, including an agreement this week with Russia to return to a ceasefire in a protracted conflict between Ukrainian troops and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, also signaled an opening for diplomacy, saying Friday that this week’s US response to Russian security requirements contained “a core of rationality” for a possible compromise on issues such as missile deployment and the military. exercises.

But the Kremlin has said it is pessimistic about the prospect of a broader agreement, and the United States has described a primarily Russian demand that NATO halt expansion in Eastern Europe as a non-starter.

The big unknown in the crisis over Ukraine, one of the most worrying military battles in Eastern Europe since the end of the Cold War, is the intentions of Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, who has kept an investigated public silence on the issue for more than one month.

While Russian leaders have insisted they have no plans to invade Ukraine, Moscow’s build-up of 130,000 troops along Ukraine’s borders has prompted the United States and NATO allies to mobilize troops and military aid to the former Soviet state.






Other military or air installations

Russia has begun to move

troops, armor and advanced

air defense systems in

Belarus, a close ally.

About 130,000 Russian troops

has been inserted near

Ukrainian border.

Forces deployed north

Ukraine could stretch

the country’s forces thin and

threatens its capital, Kiev.

About line

separate Ukrainian and

Russian-backed forces.

Nearly 20,000 soldiers are nearby

two breakaway provinces, where

Ukraine has been locked inside a

abrasive war with Russian-backed

separatists since 2014.

Other military or air installations

About 130,000 Russian troops

has been inserted near

Ukrainian border.

Russia has begun to move

troops, armor and advanced

air defense systems in

Belarus, a close ally.

About line

separate Ukrainian and

Russian-backed forces.

Nearly 20,000 soldiers are close to two

breakaway provinces, where Ukraine

has been locked in a grinding

war with Russian-backed

separatists since 2014.

About 130,000 Russian troops

has been inserted near

Ukrainian border.

Russia has begun to move

troops, armor and advanced

air defense systems in

Belarus, a close ally.

About line

separate Ukrainian and

Russian-backed forces.

Nearly 20,000 soldiers are close to two

breakaway provinces, where Ukraine

has been locked in a grinding

war with Russian-backed

separatists since 2014.

About 130,000 Russian troops

has been inserted near

Ukrainian border.

Russia has begun to move

troops, armor and advanced

air defense systems in

Belarus, a close ally.

Nearly 20,000 soldiers are nearby

two breakaway provinces, where

Ukraine has been locked inside a

abrasive war with Russian-backed

separatists since 2014.


Note: The figures for newly arrived troops for Belarus, parts of Crimea and western Russia are rough estimates.

US and European allies have tried to project a united front and threatened Moscow with harsh economic sanctions should it attack. But diplomatic efforts have progressed on several tracks, with some leaders quietly pursuing a more conciliatory approach to Mr Putin in the hope of persuading him to pull his forces down.

On Friday morning, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke by telephone with Mr Putin as part of an attempt to ease the crisis.

Sir. Biden and Mr Putin have not spoken one-to-one since a tense “virtual summit” in early December. The Biden administration convened a meeting of the UN Security Council on Monday, which could create a face-to-face debate on Ukraine between the United States and Russia.

The White House still believes there is “a clear possibility” that Russia could launch an invasion in February, said Emily Horne, spokeswoman for the National Security Council, although U.S. officials do not believe Mr. Putin has decided whether he will attack.

On Thursday, the Pentagon, which has ordered 8,500 US troops to be on “high alert” for deployment to Eastern Europe, said Russia had continued to build “credible combat forces” in western Russia and Belarus over the past 24 hours. . close to the border with Ukraine.

“We still believe there is time and space for diplomacy,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. “But so far it has not achieved the kind of results that the international community would like to see.”

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