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Russia Sends At Least 100,000 Troops Near Ukrainian Border; Pentagon Calls To Stand Down

The Pentagon issued a statement on Friday urging Russia to back down from its threats to invade Ukraine.

Russian Troops

Deployment of Russian troops near Ukrainian border. (Photo: Al Jazeera)

Moscow Deploys Military Forces for Months

In a recently published article in The Hill, Russian naval operations in the northern Atlantic and Mediterranean Seas have helped Moscow’s deployment of soldiers near Ukraine’s border, according to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in a press conference.

According to Austin, the battle in Ukraine isn’t inevitable and there is still time for dialogue before President Putin makes a final decision to unleash these troops. Russia has been given a road out of crisis and toward better security as long as the United States continues in “lockstep” with its NATO members.

Meanwhile, there have been fresh U.S. warnings that Russian President Vladimir Putin may launch an assault at any time. This strike would have serious economic ramifications for Moscow, President Biden has told Putin. This is after Russia has sent at least 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border.

Diplomatic Dialogue

The Kremlin has denied any plans to invade Ukraine, but diplomatic efforts to defuse the situation have been mostly ineffective. Since Ukraine shares borders with four NATO countries, NATO has taken steps to increase its security troops on the eastern flank.

There are now roughly 8,500 soldiers in Austin ready to deploy should NATO activate its Response Force, a multinational force made up of around 40,000 ground forces, air forces, and naval and special operations units that can be mobilized rapidly.

On Friday, President Joe Biden reiterated that no American soldiers would be deployed into Ukraine, a position echoed by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. There is no plan to use American soldiers in an attack against Russia, according to Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.