Before crunch talks between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin warned Europe that tensions are rising ‘off-the-scale’. 

Warsaw has accused Russia of sending tanks and additional sniper troops near the Ukrainian border. This comes amid concerns that Moscow may invade Ukraine in just weeks.

Satellite imagery has revealed large new Russian camps, including tanks, artillery and troops along the border. This is just as Putin continues his massing of forces at Europe’s doorstep.

Biden and Putin will hold an important video conference today, amid worries about Ukraine’s build-up. 

The US President plans to warn Putin of severe economic consequences if Russia invades neighbouring Ukraine in an effort to gain a diplomatic solution to deal with the tens of thousands of Russian troops at the border.

Russia denies that it intends to attack Ukraine.

Tensions at Europe’s east border simmered since Putin annexed Crimea in 2014. They have threatened to boil over every year since Moscow began deploying forces there in April.     

Ukrainian soldiers hold guns as they take part in the Day of the Armed Forces of Ukraine celebration in Kharkiv on Monday

Ukrainian soldiers hold guns as they take part in the Day of the Armed Forces of Ukraine celebration in Kharkiv on Monday 



In warning of escalating tensions within Europe, The Kremlin stated that they are “off the scale” ahead of crucial talks between US President Joe Biden (Russian President Vladimir Putin)

This image shows Ukrainian tanks lined up as part of Ukraine's Day of the Armed Forces

The image below shows Ukrainian tanks lined-up as part of Ukraine’s Day of the Armed Forces

Russia now has 50 battalions comprising up to 94,000 troops stationed on the Ukrainian border with another 80,000 - 100,000 sitting in reserve and will be ready to invade within weeks, the US has warned

Russia has now 50 battalions with up to 94,000 soldiers stationed at the Ukrainian border. Another 80,000-100,000 troops are in reserve. The US warned that they will invade the country within weeks.

Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesperson, told reporters Tuesday that Moscow regrets what he called White House’s predictable tendence to resort to sanctions. However, he said that Putin was open to listening to Biden and that the Kremlin leader would make his own.

“There is no reason to expect breakthroughs in this conversation. Peskov explained that this is a constructive conversation during a time of great difficulty.

He said, “The escalation in tensions within Europe is out of control, it’s extraordinary and requires a personal conversation at the top level.”

The accusation comes at a time when Ukraine’s Defence Ministry accused Russia of adding sniper troops and tanks on the frontline conflict. 

The defence ministry said in a statement: ‘The enemy increased the number of sniper pairs in readiness to inflict casualties on the personnel of the Joint Forces, destroy video surveillance elements and provoke return fire.’

Over Russian threats to Ukraine, Western leaders set out last night to unite a front against Russian aggression.

Leaders of Germany, the UK, France and Italy called for Moscow to calm down tensions before the crucial phone conversation between Putin and Biden. 

They also discussed the possibility of sanctions being imposed on Putin’s regime in case he invades Ukraine. Boris Johnson pledged to employ all diplomatic and economic tools available to him.

According to reports, the Russian leaders had devised a plan to cause significant destruction to Russia’s economy.

Biden and Putin met in Geneva in June - the first meeting of the pair since Biden took over the White House. They will speak by phone on Tuesday

Biden and Putin met at Geneva in June, their first encounter since Biden assumed control of the White House. The two will meet by phone Tuesday

Satellite images show increasing numbers of Russian troops massing on the border of Ukraine – as many as 175,000 according to US analysts.

The Times reports that the NATO is considering measures to cut Russia off from the international financial settlements network. 

Biden will likely warn his caller that the US will deploy additional forces and capability to Eastern Europe as a response to any invasion.

But, it seems that he won’t threaten direct US military action. According to a Downing Street spokesperson, the leaders stressed the importance of forming a united front against Russian hostility and threats.

Russia demands that the US guarantees Ukraine is not admitted to NATO’s military alliance. 

While the Biden administration did not rule out sending more US troops to Eastern Europe in the event of a Putin-invaded Ukraine, sources say there are no plans to direct military action against Putin. 

According to a White House spokesperson, Biden spoke Monday night with leaders from France, Germany, Germany, Italy and the UK. They discussed their shared concerns about Russia’s military buildup at Ukraine’s borders, as well as Russia’s harsher rhetoric.  

The White House stated that the leaders affirmed their support of Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence. 

Reports claim that Biden would threaten Putin by imposing’substantial’ economic sanctions on him if he invades Ukraine. Similar to economic sanctions placed on Iran in response to its attempt to build a nuclear weapon, they are likely to be similar. 

Putin’s actions would echo the isolation of Iran for violating the nuclear agreement. 

Ukraine's flag flies as President Zelensky salutes the troops in Kharkiv on Monday

As President Zelensky salutes Kharkiv’s troops on Monday, the flag of Ukraine flies.

Putin has made preparations to invade Ukraine but it’s unclear he’s made the final decision to do so, a senior administration official said on Monday.

An official stated that the US would be ready to offer a combination of support to the Ukrainian military and strong economic countermeasures and the significant increase in our support and capabilities to NATO allies if Moscow attempted an attack.

Before Biden called Putin on Tuesday, the official gave a briefing to reporters about the current situation in Ukraine.

Taking a tough tone ahead of the conversation between the two leaders, the official noted that the U.S. and Europeans are prepared to place ‘substantial economic’ sanctions on Russia should Putin invade the Ukraine – a message President Biden will send during the virtual talk with his Russian counterpart. 

Although the official didn’t say the United States would send troops to Ukraine in order to assist President Volodymyrzelsky, he did state that the US would provide reassurance for NATO Allies by sending additional forces to support them in case of invasion. 

“To make it clear, we are not aware if Putin has taken a decision to escalate military tensions in Ukraine. We do know, however that Putin is making preparations to allow for such an escalation if he chooses to. The senior official from the administration said that we’ve already seen similar Russian tactics in Ukraine’s 2014 invasion.

We have witnessed the movement of more capabilities and troops to Ukraine’s vicinity in many different locations. The official said that these movements were consistent with military escalation plans in Ukraine. 

According to the official, Russia can still take a different course and that the Biden administration encourages Moscow to “return to dialog through diplomatic avenues.”   

The White House announced Monday night: ‘Today President Emmanuel Macron (France), Chancellor Angela Merkel (Germany), Prime Minister Mario Draghi (Italy), Prime Minister Boris Johnson (UK) and President Biden (USA) held a telephone call. 

“The Russian military build-up along Ukraine’s border and Russia’s increasing harsh rhetoric were discussed by the leaders. 

They called Russia to calm down tensions and decided that diplomacy (especially through the Normandy Format) is the best option to solve the Donbas conflict through implementation of the Minsk Agreements. 

“The leaders affirmed their support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.” 

“They have agreed to keep in touch with their respective teams, in consultation with NATO allies, EU partners and other EU countries, in a coordinated, comprehensive approach.” 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated Monday that Ukraine will likely be the dominant topic for Biden and Putin’s discussions. 

She stated that despite the fact that it was a chance to talk about a variety of issues in the US-Russia relationship, including cyber security and regional issues and strategic stability, you can expect the US’s concerns regarding military activity at the border to be an important part of the conversation during her Tuesday press conference. 

“I feel that our objective since the inception of the President’s term in office was not to increase the relationship, but rather to establish a stronger foundation for the relationship,” she stated. 

However, she said that the President isn’t going to be slow in expressing his concern.

Her comments also referred to Russia’s 2014 invasion of Crimea.

“If they decide to go forward, one outcome is that other eastern flank countries, many of which are NATO partners, will seek reassurance from America. It was something I thought of as a continuation to 2014. Russia doesn’t want that, I think. She said that this would also be the natural result if Russia were to continue moving forward.

Psaki responded to questions about whether Biden’s diplomacy with Putin might be effective in preventing an invasion. This approach was not successful in 2014, when Russia took over the Crimea.

“We will wait to see if they’re there, but our goal first and foremost is stop military progress like we saw in 2014,” she stated.

The upcoming conference call will not be made about threats. “It’s all about communicating the correct path forward, and that is done through diplomacy.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, right, awards a soldier in a trench as he visits the war-hit Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine on Monday

Volodymyr Zeleskyy, Ukrainian president, presents a medal to a soldier stationed in a trench, as he visited the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine.

This handout satellite image released by Maxar Technologies and taken on November 1, 2021 shows the presence of a large ground forces deployment on the northern edge of the town of Yelnya, Smolensk Oblast, Russia

The handout satellite photo taken by Maxar Technologies on November 1, 2021, shows the large presence of ground forces deployed on the northern border of Yelnya in Smolensk Oblast. Russia

U.S intelligence officers have found that Russia has gathered around 70,000 troops close to its border with Ukraine. This action is being compared to Moscow’s 2014 annexe of the Crimean Peninsula.

Ahead of Biden and Putin’s conversation, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke with Zelensky.

According to the official, Biden will contact the Ukrainian president within the next few days after his meeting with Putin. 

Zelensky indicated that he had spoken with Blinken and agreed to keep the ‘joint action and coordinated effort’ going.

‘Agreed to continue joint & concerted action. Grateful to U.S. strategic partners & allies for the continued support of our sovereignty & territorial integrity. Zelensky posted on Twitter, “Nothing about Ukraine is complete without Ukraine.” 

According to the official, the U.S. would also support its NATO allies in this region. 

Zelensky has tried to have the Ukraine become a member, but it hasn’t happened.

Additionally, the State Department stated that any Russian aggression toward Ukraine would be countered.

Ned Price said that Russia would have to follow through with all plans it might have to escalate its military aggression upon Ukraine, or to invade militarily its sovereign territory to threaten its sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence. He added that he, along with his allies, would be willing to take decisive action.

“There should not be any doubt about our desire to do that.” He added that we made this clear at all times, both in public and private. 

An official suggested that the U.S. might deploy to Eastern Europe in case Russia invades. He said there would be a positive reaction from the United States to have additional capabilities, forces and exercises put in place in order to protect our allies on our east flank in the event of such aggression in Ukraine.

The official stated that he believed it was possible to anticipate the fact that, in the case of invasion, there would be a need to increase the confidence and reassurance among NATO allies as well as our Eastern flank allies. This would make the United States prepared to offer that type of reassurance.    

According to a Downing Street spokesperson, the leaders acknowledged that recent meetings between G20 foreign ministers and Nato were useful venues for discussing this topic. In the face of Russian threats, hostility and aggression they stressed the necessity to form a united front.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, is seen on Thursday. He has long accused the West of provocation with their open invitation for Ukraine to join NATO

On Thursday, Vladimir Putin (Russian president) is visible. With their invite for Ukraine to NATO, Putin long accuses the West.

“The leaders asked Russia to reduce tensions, and reiterated their support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

“The Prime Minister reiterated his points to President Putin earlier in the year, which the Foreign Secretary made last week to her Russian counterpart. According to the Prime Minister, the UK will continue to employ all diplomatic and economic tools available to stop any Russian aggression towards Ukraine.

After President Biden’s meeting with President Putin, the leaders decided to meet again.

Their diplomacy comes after a report on Friday suggested that Russia is planning a possible military offensive against Ukraine involving an estimated 175,000 troops that could begin as soon as early 2022.

The Washington Post was able to obtain unclassified intelligence that included satellite images of troops and equipment at the Ukrainian border. 

Photos from June were taken around Yelnya near the north border of Russia and Ukraine. Five Battalion Tactical Groups were (BTGs) in place as of November 9th, photos show.

Similar scenes took place near the Russian-Ukrainian border in Crimea, 2014. This was before Russia seize the Black Sea strategic port.

According to an official from the administration, the Russian plans for Ukraine call for a military assault in early 2022. The scale of force required will be twice that seen this spring at Russia’s short exercise close to Ukraine’s borders. 

A satellite photo released on November 1 by Maxar Technologies shows troops gathering near the town of Yelnya. Washington's warning comes as Putin masses his forces close to Ukrainian territory, with satellite images like this taken in the last few weeks showing large camps of tanks and artillery pieces in the region

Maxar Technologies published a satellite photo on November 1 showing soldiers gathered close to Yelnya. Washington warns Putin as he masses his forces near Ukrainian territory. These satellite images, taken within the last few weeks, show large concentrations of tanks and artillery in the region.

Ukraine warns there are now some 94,000 Russian soldiers near its border, where it has been fighting a years-long insurgency in its eastern regions by Russian-backed separatists

Ukraine has warned that Russian troops are near it border. The country is currently fighting an insurgency for over a decade in the eastern parts of its territory by Russian-backed separatists.

“The plan calls for the movement of large numbers of tactical 100-battalion battalion groups, with approximately 175,000 personnel. This includes armor and artillery. 

Ukrainian assessment have indicated that Russia holds approximately 94,000 troops close to the border. However, the U.S. thinks the number is closer to 70,000.

The US government expects an increase of 175,000 and says that significant movements will occur at the border by battalion tactical teams ‘to confuse intentions and create uncertainty’ 

“Equipment might be left behind at various training ranges in order to facilitate a rapid and final buildup,” the document says. 

Biden, leaving the White House to go Camp David said that he was aware for some time of Russia’s actions and his expectation that they would have an extended discussion. 

Russian state media on Friday released footage of the military drills, including sniper training, taking place on the Ukrainian border

Russian state media published footage on Friday of military drills and sniper training that took place at the Ukrainian frontier.

Russian soldiers have been pictured conducting sniper exercises, believed to involve 700 gunmen, with servicemen lying on the ground in snowy conditions

Russian soldiers are seen performing sniper exercise with 700-gunmen and servicemen on the ground, in snowy conditions.

Russian military personnel were filmed training with rocket-propelled grenade launchers amid heightened tensions over the build up of more than 94,000 soldiers on the border with Ukraine

Russian military personnel were caught training using rocket-propelled, grenade-launchers during tensions due to the increase in more than 94,000 Ukrainian soldiers at Ukraine’s border.

He said that he would not accept any red line from Putin, which is for Ukraine to join NATO. 

Putin stated this week that Russia requires ‘precise legal and judicial guarantees’ because Western counterparts have not fulfilled verbal promises they made.

He stated that a formal agreement was necessary to ‘exclude any further expansion of NATO to the east and deployment of weapons systems in close proximity of Russia’s territories. 

This Thursday was the meeting of Secretary of State Anthony Blinken with Sergei Lavrov, his Russian counterpart.

Moscow would be paying a lot if Russia invades Ukraine. Blinken, who warned Moscow about this on Thursday, asked his Russian counterpart to negotiate a diplomatic solution.

Anthony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State, is seen meeting Russia's Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, in Stockholm on Thursday

Anthony Blinken is seen with Sergei Lavrov (Russia’s Foreign Ministry) in Stockholm, Thursday, April 12.

Russian troops are seen on October 18 carrying out exercises in Crimea. Crimea, seized from Ukraine by Russia in 2014, is one of the areas where the U.S. officials believe there to be troop build up. In the photo, a BTR-82A armored personnel carrier lands from a large landing ship during an exercise in amphibious landing on an unimproved shore held by army corps and naval infantry units of the Russian Black Sea Fleet at the Opuk range. Over 8,000 servicemen and about 350 items of military hardware and weaponry took part in the drill

Russian troops can be seen conducting drills in Crimea on 18 October. The U.S. believes there is troop buildup in Crimea. It was seized by Russia from Ukraine in 2014. The photo shows a BTR-82A armoured personnel carrier landing from large landing ships during amphibious landing exercises on unimproved shores held by naval infantry units and army corps of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. This drill involved more than 8,000 soldiers and approximately 350 military equipment and weapons.

Blinken gave the warning to Russian Foreign Minister in what he described as a “candid” meeting in Stockholm. He said that it was probable that Biden would soon speak with Vladimir Putin. 

After the meeting, Blinken stated that he had made clear his deep concern and determination to hold Russia accountable for its actions. He also pledged to collaborate with European allies in imposing severe consequences and costs on Russia if it continues aggressively against Ukraine.

“It is now up to Russia to reverse the recent troop buildup and return forces to normal peacetime posts, and to refrain from intimidation or attempts to destabilize Ukraine.”

Lavrov spoke to journalists before his meetings with Blinken and said that Moscow is ready for dialogue. 

He said, “We, President Putin stated, don’t want any conflicts.” 

Blinken, before the meeting, stated: ‘We don’t know whether President Putin has made the decision to invade. 

“We know that he has the ability to make this happen quickly if he decides so. 

“We need to be ready for every eventuality.” 

According to a Biden administration official speaking to Associated Press, the new intelligence finding was published Friday and estimates that about half of Russian personnel have been deployed at various locations near Ukraine’s borders.

Russian and Belarusian troops take part in the Zapad-2021 military exercise in the Brest region of Belarus on September 14

Russian and Belarusian troops participate in Zapad-2021 military exercises in Brest, Belarus on September 14,

A Belarus and Russian joint tactical group of Su-30SM fighters patrols the Belarussian borders with NATO countries on November 30

The border of Belarus with NATO members was patrolled by a combined tactical unit from Russia and Belarus consisting of Su-30SM fighters.

The Novorossiysk (L) and Caesar Kunikov large landing ships take part in an exercise in amphibious landing on an unimproved shore in Crimea in October

Caesar Kunikov (L), and Novorossiysk(L) large landing ship participate in an amphibious landing exercise at a shore unimproved in Crimea in Oct

The Saratov large landing ship and Mil Mi-8AMTSh helicopters are seen during the Crimea exercises, in October

The Crimea Exercises in October saw the Saratov large land ship and Mil Mi-8AMTSh helicopters.

An air assault group lands during an exercise in amphibious landing in Crimea in October

A Crimean air assault team lands at an amphibious landing exercise. It took place in October in Crimea.

Russia has increased its pressure on Biden, in an effort to make sure that Ukraine is not allowed to join NATO.

According to an official, intelligence officials have noticed an increase in Russian media outlets and proxies used by Russian information operations ahead of possible invasions.

Biden had earlier pledged that he would make it “very, very difficult” for Putin to launch military actions in Ukraine.

According to him, new measures being taken by his government are meant to stop Russian aggression.

Biden stated that he was putting together the best set of meaningful initiatives possible to make it difficult for Putin to do the things people fear.

According to the Kremlin, Putin requested binding assurances that NATO would not expand into Ukraine at Friday’s call with Biden.

Even further, the Ukrainian defense minister warned that Russia might invade Ukraine next month.

The Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Raznikov informed lawmakers Friday that Russian troops are near Ukraine, and Russian-annexed Crimea, at approximately 94,000. He warned of a possible ‘large-scale escalated’ in January. 

According to a Ukrainian official, military drills earlier in the year were used as rehearsals for invasion.

“Russian troops dealt with the issue of creating strike units near our borders, mobilization, and logistical support to groups. [and]According to an official, there was a transfer of large military contingents (including by air) from Russia to Ukraine’s border. 

Relations between the U.S. and Russia have been difficult since Biden was elected.

The Biden administration also imposed sanctions on Russian targets, calling out President Vladimir Putin for interference in U.S. election, cyberactivity against U.S. business, and treatment of Alexei Navalny (an opposition figure who was poisoned and later jailed).

Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov told lawmakers on Friday that intelligence from the border shows 'the possibility of a large-scale escalation from Russia exists'

On Friday, Oleksii Reznikov, Ukrainian Defense Minister, told parliament that intelligence at the border indicates ‘the possibility for a large scale escalation by Russia’

President Joe Biden, seen on Friday, is likely to speak soon to Vladimir Putin, the U.S. Secretary of State said on Thursday in Stockholm

On Friday, President Joe Biden was seen in Stockholm. The U.S. Secretary Of State stated that Vladimir Putin will be speaking to him soon.

Biden and Putin met face-to-face in Geneva, June.

A person close to Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Biden and the Ukrainian President have tentatively agreed on a conference call for next week.

Jen Psaki White House Press Secretary said that officials from the administration have “engaged in a possibility” of an Obama-Biden call.  

Psaki spoke out about a potential Biden/Putin conversation, saying that it would offer an opportunity for the public to voice their concerns over the bellicose rhetoric at the border of Ukraine and about the military buildup.

Biden was vague about what actions he was taking. 

Lavrov, however, has threatened additional sanctions as a response to any U.S. actions. 

Lavrov declared, “If the new sanctions from Hell’ arrive, we will reply.” 

“We cannot fail to respond.”

Psaki indicated Friday that the Administration would coordinate with European Allies if sanctions were imposed. 

While the White House is pondering the future, it was clear that the White House has a lot of bitter memories about Russia’s 2014 annexation Crimea. The Black Sea peninsula had been in Ukraine’s hands since 1954.

Psaki claimed that “We know the history of President Putin’s actions.” 

“We can see that he has put in place the ability to act quickly.”

Deep divisions were evident during the Blinken–Lavrov meeting. The Russia official accused the West of ‘playing on fire’ by not allowing Russia to have a voice in NATO expansion into former Soviet Union countries. 

Zelenskyy is pushing for Ukraine’s membership in the alliance. The promise of membership has been made but no timeline has been set.

Blinken said this week that the U.S. had’made it very clear to the Kremlin’ that they would respond with “resolutely”, including by using a variety of economic and high-impact measures we have largely avoided in the past.

Although he did not specify what sanctions were under consideration, a possible option could include removing Russia from SWIFT’s international payment system. 

A non-binding resolution was approved by the European Union Parliament in April that would have barred Russia from SWIFT, if it invades Ukraine.

This would be a significant step towards excluding Russian companies from the global financial systems. 

According to Western allies during Russian-led earlier escalations in tension over Ukraine, they considered this a possible step.

Dmitry Medvedev, then-Russian Prime Minister, stated that it would amount to “a declaration of war.”