WASHINGTON (TND) — Ukraine is on edge as it appears Russia only continues to grow its military presence — now around 190,000 troops strong.
On the brink of an invasion, President Joe Biden made a somber statement, indicating that diplomacy no longer appears likely.
“As of this moment, I’m convinced he’s made the decision. We have reason to believe that,” Biden said as he addressed the nation Thursday evening.
He also noted a significant escalation in violence on Russia’s part, saying they were behind the artillery fire that blew a hole in a kindergarten in eastern Ukraine. He also struck down what he called several “false claims” by Russia that Ukraine is preparing to take offensive military action against them.
“We’re calling out Russia’s plans loudly and repeatedly. Not because we want a conflict, but because we’re doing everything in our power to remove any reason Russia may give to justify invading Ukraine and prevent them from moving,” Biden said.
Officials say Ukraine is now surrounded by Russian forces with troops “from Belarus along the Russian border with Ukraine to the Black Sea in the south and all of its border.”
Vice President Kamala Harris met with the NATO secretary-general who says right now, there is the biggest concentration of military force in Europe since the end of the Cold War, adding that Russia has forces and support in place to launch an attack without warning.
The White House is warning of fierce sanctions should Russia invade, which would include moves to isolate Russia from global financial markets and from access to technology.
As the threat for a physical attack escalates, the U.S. government also said today that Russia is responsible for recent cyberattacks on Ukraine this week. It was the largest in the country’s history and took down several Ukranian military and bank websites.
Biden issued a final warning, saying this invasion could create global chaos.
“Make no mistake, if Russia pursues its plans, it will be responsible for a catastrophic and needless war of choice. The United States and our allies are prepared to defend every inch of NATO territory from any threat to our collective security.”