A U.S. official told CBS News that Russian commanders have received orders to proceed with an invasion of Ukraine, with commanders on the ground making specific plans for how they would maneuver in their sectors of the battlefield.
On Friday, President Joe Biden told reporters he was “convinced” Putin had decided to invade Ukraine. An invasion would come in the “coming days” said Biden. Biden has also agreed to meet with Putin in the near future “in principle” so long as an invasion has not begun, said the White House Sunday night.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told “Face the Nation” that the U.S. still believes Russia is “moving forward” with plans to invade. This is all despite the fact that Russia has denied allegations that preparations for an attack are underway.
On Sunday, the United States Embassy in Moscow issued a security alert warning “according to media sources, there have been threats of attacks against shopping centers, railway and metro stations, and other public gathering places in major urban areas, including Moscow and St. Petersburg as well as in areas of heightened tension along the Russian border with Ukraine.”
The State Department urged U.S. citizens in Russia to avoid crowds and suggested they have evacuation plans in place that do not rely on federal government assistance. The Pentagon has also sent roughly 5,000 troops to Eastern Europe to “bolster NATO forces.”
The Biden administration has stated it hopes to keep a diplomatic option on the table and Biden has said no American forces will go into Ukraine if Russia invades. “My job as a diplomat is to leave absolutely no stone unturned and see if we can prevent war, and if there’s anything I can do to do that, I’m going to do it” said Blinken.
“President Biden has made very clear that he’s prepared to meet President Putin at any time in any format if that can help prevent a war. Even if the die is cast, until it’s settled, until we know that the tanks are rolling, the planes are flying, and the aggression has fully begun, we’re going to do everything we can to prevent it but we’re prepared either way.”
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