Tensions escalate in Ukraine:
- The U.S. embassy in Kyiv closes due to the “dramatic acceleration in the buildup of Russian forces” on the Ukraine/Russia border, per Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
- The U.S. is advising that American citizens leave the country immediately.
- Jake Sullivan, the U.S. national security advisor, told CNN that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could happen “any day now.”
- Although Russia claims they’re de-escalating, NATO reports that Russia increased the number of troops at the border.
Biden pushes back: On Friday, President Joe Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin of “swift and severe costs” if Russia invades Ukraine. The White House also stated Saturday that “the United States remains prepared to engage in diplomacy, in full coordination with our Allies and partners, we are equally prepared for other scenarios.”
What Russia wants:
- A guarantee that Ukraine does not become a part of NATO. Putin believes that if Ukraine joins NATO, it may attempt to recapture Crimea.
- A return to its pre-1997 borders and for NATO to stop eastward expansion.
- NATO completely out of Eastern Europe; that includes combat units being pulled out from countries that joined after 1997.
For more information, visit our earlier article explaining the Russia-Ukraine border conflict.