Biden Says Russian Invasion of Ukraine Remains Distinctly Possible

President Joe Biden has claimed that 150,000 Russian troops are still massed in “threatening positions” around Ukraine, despite Russian announcements of a military withdrawal. 

Biden warned that a Russian invasion of Ukraine “remains distinctly possible.” Meanwhile, Ukraine began to mark what Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called a “day of unity.” 

Biden made a televised address from the White House, in which he offered security talks while also warning Russia again of severe repercussions if it were to carry out an attack on Ukraine. US intelligence reportedly has assessed that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could happen as early as today. 

Biden said that he would “rally the world” to oppose Russian military action, and put an emphasis on economic consequences. He also said he will not send the American military to fight in Ukraine, making a stance that there will be no American boots-on-the-ground in Ukraine. However, it was also made clear that an attack on a NATO country or any direct harm to Americans would be treated differently. 

Biden said that the United States is not seeking a direct confrontation with Russia. But if Russia targets Americans and Ukraine, the U.S. response will be forceful. If Russia attacks the U.S. or allied countries through asymmetric means, including through cyberattacks or by attacking critical infrastructure, the U.S. is “prepared to respond.” 

In Ukraine, a “day of unity” telethon took place today, where Zelenskiy said that Ukrainians were united by a single desire to live in peace, happily, with one family, with their parents and children. He urged the Ukrainian people to fly flags and sing the national anthem. 

Earlier on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that a “partial” withdrawal of Russian troops was happening from the Ukrainian border. When he was pressed for a reason for the drawdown, he was not forthcoming, saying that it was a partial withdrawal from areas of military exercise. 

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