Due to Russia’s threat of invasion, Britain has begun withdrawing diplomats from Ukraine with their families. 

According to sources, half the diplomat staff will leave Ukraine with their families. 

Sources said that the move was not due to any particular threat against Britons, but because of the rising risk of Russian aggression. 

This is after American diplomats’ families were ordered out of the country by the US. They also offered non-essential Embassy staff flight home.

The EU has stated today it does not intend to pull its diplomatic staff out of Ukraine. Josep Borrell was the top diplomat and said that there’s no need for ‘dramatising’ the situation. 

Russia sent 100,000 soldiers to Ukraine’s border, and also issued security requirements for the US and NATO Allies.

While the US is expected to reply in writing, high-level discussions are still ongoing with the Alliance about the rest of the list. 

America has threatened Russia with a swift and severe response to any invasion of Ukraine. This would also include the escalating severity of its sanctions.

The US might also consider military options to stop Putin. However, this is in addition to a confrontation between American and Russian troops.

Pentagon officials presented one plan to Joe Biden during a summit at the weekend, which would see between 1,000 and 5,000 US troops deployed to Baltic states Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, which border Russian territory. 

The troop number could be increased to 50,000. If the security situation worsens, new ships or aircraft deployments can also help. 

According to the New York Times, this plan does not include American troops being deployed to Ukraine directly. However, Biden is believed to be reluctant to engage in another conflict after his disasterous withdrawal from Afghanistan last year.

Biden might make a statement on military actions as early as next week.

In the face of warnings from Pentagon, the Pentagon warned that an invasion was imminent. Families of US diplomats stationed abroad were told to flee the country.

Because of ‘increased Russian military actions’, non-essential diplomatic staff also had the option to leave Russia.

However, the EU warned Monday against “dramatizing” the situation and stated that it does not plan to pull its diplomats out of the country.

Josep Borrell (EU’s top diplomat) said that he doesn’t know of any “specific reasons” to pull diplomatic staff out and stated that negotiations continue. 

The UK had claimed at the weekend, that Moscow was making preparations for a puppet government to be installed in Ukraine following an invasion.

Yevhen Muraev (former Ukrainian politician) was even named by the Foreign Office as a possible Kremlin candidate.  

Senior officials from the Biden Administration declined to provide specific troop numbers, but stated that they were developing plans and are working with allies in order to decide on options. 

Both Lloyd Austin, Defense Secretary and General Mark Milley, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff attended these meetings via video conference. 

The president is keen to stay out of another conflict and has not considered any of the options.

Biden will likely make a decision by the end of this week, but weaponry appears to be on the move.  

Oleksii Reznikov (Ukraine’s Defense Minister) tweeted that Sunday night the United States sent another shipment of weapons to Ukraine. 

“The second bird is in Kyiv!” We have more than 80 tons weapons from America to help Ukraine strengthen its defense capabilities! This isn’t the end,” Reznikov wrote, along with images of the incendiary cargo.  

President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin are pictured meeting in June 2021

Pictured: President Joe Biden with Russian President Vladimir Putin in June 2021

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin

U.S. Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley attended virtually.

Biden was accompanied by Jake Sullivan, national security advisor and Steve Ricchetti, counselor to President Steve Ricchetti as part of these meetings. 

“President Biden was updated on current Russian military operations along Ukraine’s borders. We discussed diplomacy efforts and the range of deterrence actions that we are coordinating closely with our Allies, partners and including continued deliveries of security support to Ukraine. 

According to a report from the briefing, President Biden stated that Russia should invade Ukraine once again. The United States would then impose severe and swift sanctions on Russia, along with its Allies and Partners. 

One of the goals for military reinforcement in eastern Europe was to provide deterrence to allies and reassurance.

 The options include the ‘movement of assets and forces already in Europe and also assets and forces available outside of Europe.’

Biden is considering a novel export control policy that would affect certain Russian industries. This could include artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and aerospace. 

According to Washington Post, this would mean that the U.S. will stop the flow microchips (which are critical for Russian industries such as civil aviation and maritime) from Russia.   

However, Russia could be prevented from importing smartphones, tablets, or video games consoles made in the U.S. by the Administration.

Ukraine's Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov tweeted on Sunday night that the government had received a second shipment of weapons from the United States

Oleksii Reznikov (Ukraine’s Defense Minister) tweeted that Sunday night the United States sent another shipment of weapons to Ukraine.

A cargo plane was pictured in Ukraine after supposedly delivering 80 tons of weapons

After allegedly delivering 80 tonnes of weapons, a cargo plane was captured in Ukraine.

The U.S. could send additional troops to the area if it decides to do so. This would signal a shift in tact by the Biden administration, which has been cautious about Ukraine’s situation, partially to prevent Russia from invading. 

Biden could approve deployment. Some troops would come from the USA, but others would be drawn from Europe.

Commandos suggested more forces for air defense, logistics, and engineering. 

Biden may also authorize additional aircraft to be sent to the area, in addition the troops.

Russian President Vladimir Putin seemed to escalate tensions and threaten actions against Ukraine after Friday’s failed talks between Russia and the U.S.

The U.S. has now abandoned its earlier stance that it did not want to provoke Russia’s administration, according to sources who spoke with the Times. 

At a Camp David meeting over the weekend Pentagon officials discussed a range of options with President Biden. Some would have the American military move closer towards the Russian border. 

According to sources, there are the possibility of sending up to 50,000 if necessary.

Biden stated last week that he had warned Putin about a Russian invasion of Ukraine. This would lead to more U.S. military troops being deployed in the region.  

Biden stated that if he does move, we will increase our troop presence in Poland and Romania. They are part NATO.

A Russian rocket launcher fires during military drills near Orenburg in the Urals, Russia in December. With tens of thousands of Russian troops positioned near Ukraine, the Kremlin has kept the U.S. and its allies guessing about its next moves in the worst Russia-West security crisis since the Cold War

In December, a Russian rocket launcher fired at Orenburg in The Urals (Russia). Russia has tens to thousands of troops stationed near Ukraine. The Kremlin kept America and its allies in suspense about what it would do next in its worst Russia-West security crisis.

Members of Ukraine's Territorial Defense Forces, volunteer military units of the Armed Forces, train in a city park in Kyiv, Ukraine. Dozens of civilians have been joining Ukraine's army reserves in recent weeks amid fears about Russian invasion

In Kyiv’s city park, Ukraine, members of Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Forces (volunteer military units of Armed Forces) train. Fears about Russian invasion have prompted a number of civils to join Ukraine’s army reserve in the last few weeks.

American and NATO flags are seen at a Stand With Ukraine rally in Union Square, New York. Members of the Russian-speaking diaspora and Ukrainian activists demonstrated amid threat of Russian invasion of the Ukraine

Stand With Ukraine protest in Union Square (New York) featured NATO and American flags. Ukrainian activists and Russian speakers demonstrated against the Russian invasion threats to Ukraine.

Although there were no breakthroughs at the Geneva talks last week, American and Russian diplomats pledged to continue a dialogue in order to avoid the worst case scenario.

Sergey Lavrov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs said Moscow is still waiting to receive a written reply on its security guarantee demands. This was something that Blinken stated he wouldn’t provide.

He called Russia’s demands to limit NATO expansion as ‘nonstarters. 

After a week-long international dialogue aimed at deescalating Russian aggression against Ukraine’s borders, Antony Blinken, Secretary of State said Sunday that it was possible Kremlin officials were just “going through the motions” of diplomacy. 

Blinken made a slew of Sunday news program appearances after returning from diplomatic talks in Europe over the crisis

After returning from Europe to attend diplomatic talks, Blinken appeared on a number of Sunday news programs

Blinken, despite meeting his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Geneva, admitted to Meet The Press on NBC that Moscow might still attempt to invade the former Soviet state despite Western efforts.

During a separate interview with CNN, the US’s Chief Diplomat said that the US could not exclude possible military intervention in the worsening conflict.

NBC’s Chuck Todd heard Blinken say that it was possible the Russians’ diplomacy is merely going through the motions. It won’t influence their final decision whether to invade Ukraine or intervene in another way. 

“But, it is our responsibility to ensure that diplomacy continues for as many years as possible because this will bring about a successful conclusion.”

Blinken was unable to indicate the time he believed an invasion might occur, and he did not answer straight when asked if Kyiv appeared safe.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the US embassy in Kyiv on January 19, 2022

Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, at the US Embassy in Kyiv on Jan 19, 2022

He stated, “This again is something we’re monitoring intensely, hour to hour and certain day to day,”

Blinken escalated his threats to Moscow in his CNN interview. According to him, it only took one soldier to cross the border and trigger a global response.

He stated that if a Russian military force enters Ukraine aggressively, like I mentioned, it would trigger an immediate, severe, and united European response.

Vladimir Putin already has more than 100,000 soldiers at Ukraine’s border. Last week, Blinken said that Russia could quickly double this number. Moscow stated that they have no plans to invade Ukraine.

The State Department stated that the United States had ordered families of diplomats living in Kyiv, Ukraine, to evacuate the country on Sunday “due to the continuing threat” of an invasion by Russia.

Washington also allowed the voluntary departure of non-essential staff members from its embassy and advised citizens living in Eastern Europe to consider leaving now. However, Washington stated that it would not be able to evacuate the people after an incursion by Moscow.