Russia’s approach to Ukraine is ‘dangerous’ says Nuland
The Biden administration is weighing new options, including providing more arms to Ukraine to resist a Russian occupation, to try to raise the costs for Russian President Vladimir Putin should he decide to invade the country. In addition to considering how to help the Ukrainian military and government fend off an invasion, the US is evaluating options for bolstering Ukrainian forces’ ability to resist a potential Russian occupation.
That includes potentially providing the Ukrainian Army with additional ammunition, mortars, Javelin anti-tank missiles, and anti-aircraft missile systems, which would likely come from NATO allies.
In the meantime, US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken is heading to Ukraine to meet President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Mr Blinken will land in Kyiv on Wednesday where he will meet with Zelenskyy and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
The nation’s top diplomat will also meet with the employees and families at the US Embassy compound there to communicate contingency plans should Russia choose to escalate further.
The US has stated that Russia could invade Ukraine at
Anthony Blinken will travel to Ukraine shortly
Ahead of the trip, Mr Blinken spoke to his counterpart, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, on Tuesday and reiterated calls for Moscow to de-escalate tensions by reducing its military build-up along Ukraine’s border. During the call, the two agreed to meet in Geneva on Friday.
Measures are being taken by multiple other nations overs fears of an invasion.
Yesterday, Canadian Prime Minister warned his citizens to avoid all but essential travel to Ukraine.
President Joe Biden has said that sending US combat troops to Ukraine to fight a war with Russia is off the table.
Russian forces are on the border of Ukraine
Soldiers from Ukraine are on high alert
But special operations forces already rotate in and out of the country to provide training to Ukrainian forces and a senior administration official said it is possible that other agencies could provide some support, likely the CIA.
CIA Director Bill Burns traveled to Kyiv last week to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and discuss risks to Ukraine, a US official said.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned Vladimir Putin must not be allowed to “rewrite the rules” of international law and democracy as tensions mount over Ukraine.
The Prime Minister told the Russian President to stop his “disinformation campaign” as fears rise the Kremlin will order an imminent invasion of its neighbour.
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Russian vs US jets compared
Addressing Cabinet as the first UK troops and hi-tech military equipment were sent to the east European nation, Mr Johnson promised the UK is doing “everything possible” to support the people of Ukraine.
Around 100 British military personnel and anti-armour missile systems were sent to Ukraine this week after weeks of build-up by Russia, with up to 100,000 troops stationed along the border.
The British soldiers will train Ukrainian forces in using the defensive weapon systems.
Mr Johnson’s official spokesman said: “There is a small infantry training team deploying to assist the Ukrainian armed forces to become familiar with the defensive systems we are providing and ensure they are able to use them as soon as possible.
The US left meetings with Russia and NATO last week feeling pessimistic
US officials left the meetings in Europe last week even more pessimistic about what Putin could be planning, and how limited the west’s leverage is to stop it—even with the punishing sanctions and increased NATO presence in eastern Europe currently on the table.
“We can exact some pain, but there is a big difference between exacting pain and actually having leverage,” a senior US official said.
Ukrainian defence officials are in daily contact with US counterparts at the Pentagon, the official said, preparing for a variety of different actions the Russians could take.
“We prepared a response for each scenario,” an official said.
They added: “We are going to fight if something happens. Our people are ready to fight. Every window will shoot if Russians go in.”
Officials at the UK Foreign Office have been told to be ready to move into “crisis mode” at very short notice, highlighting the increased concern that Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine could escalate into conflict, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Staff at the department were informed of the request this week, an insider told Bloomberg News.
Triggering it would mean officials and diplomats are redeployed to work on Russia and Ukraine policy and to prioritize the UK response to any further spike in tensions, including deterrence and sanctions.
“This is critical work in shaping and securing our European neighbourhood,” staff were told in a communication. Some staff are already being shifted to work on contingency planning and strategic communications, the source informed Bloomberg News.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office did not respond immediately to a request for comment.