Russia-Ukraine border crisis latest news

February 20, 2022

Russia-Ukraine border crisis latest updates

Russia has announced a new drawdown of military forces from the Moscow-annexed Crimean Peninsula, despite Ukraine’s Western allies meeting similar announcements with skepticism. Here are the Russia-Ukraine border crisis latest updates.

The announcement is the latest reported drawdown of a Russian military force estimated by the West to be more than 100,000 troops, which Washington has said could be preparing to invade.

Russia begins strategic nuclear exercises

The Russian military has begun its exercises involving the launch of ballistic and cruise missiles, according to Russian-state-backed news agency Ria.

President Vladimir Putin will be overseeing the exercises from a “situation center”. The Kremlin said the drills should be no cause for alarm.

Ukraine reports a soldier killed in separatists shelling

The Ukrainian military said a soldier was killed in shelling by pro-Russian separatists in east Ukraine. Separatists opened fire on more than 20 settlements, using heavy artillery, which has been prohibited by Minsk agreements, the military said.

US says Putin made decision to invade

United States President Joe Biden has said he is “convinced” that Russia’s Vladimir Putin has made a decision to invade Ukraine, warning Moscow against starting what he called a “war of choice” that would be catastrophic.

But the US president said the doors of diplomacy remain open. Until war breaks out, “diplomacy is always a possibility”, Biden told reporters.

US defense secretary: Russia ‘poised to strike’

US defense secretary Lloyd Austin said on Saturday (February 19, 2022) that Russia’s military was “poised to strike” Ukraine, even as he voiced hope that Russian President Vladimir Putin would step back from the brink of war.

Austin vowed Washington would stand with its Baltic allies during a visit to Lithuania. However, Russia denies planning any attacks.

Biden says US and NATO are ‘united’

After holding calls with European leaders, and US legislators attending the Munich Security Conference, Biden said the US is united internally and on the same page as its allies in rejecting a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

NATO has sent a letter to Russia’s foreign minister using more dialogue

A letter has been sent from NATO’s secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg to Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.

It urged Russia to engage in dialogue within the NATO-Russia Council to avert conflict in Ukraine.

Mr. Stoltenberg has just told the Munich Security Conference that there are no signs so far of a Russian withdrawal from the Ukrainian border and there is still a substantial threat of invasion.

Boris Johnson says ‘diplomacy can still prevail’

The British prime minister has shared what appears to be a self-taken video on his flight to Munich.

Ahead of his appearance at the security conference with other world leaders, Mr. Johnson said he would be “urging unity in the face of potential Russian aggression”.

‘Multiple explosions heard’ in Donetsk

A Reuters news agency eyewitness said they heard multiple explosions in the rebel-held city of Donetsk in Ukraine this morning.

The cause of the explosions was not clear, and there has been no immediate comment from separatist authorities or Kyiv.

Women and children have started being evacuated from the rebel-held territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine.

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