WASHINGTON (Fwrd Axis) — Russia has added approximately 7,000 troops in recent days along the Ukraine border the United States alleged Wednesday evening, disputing claims from Moscow that it was pulling back some of its troops.
A senior US administration official said the claims of Russia pulling back some of its troops were “false” and added President Vladimir Putin possibly being open to diplomacy was not true.
“Every indication we have now is they mean only to publicly offer to talk, and make claims about de-escalation, while privately mobilizing for war,” the official said.
If the United States is correct, this will put the number of troops at the Ukraine border well above the 150,000 figure President Joe Biden cited in remarks on Tuesday.
“The fact remains right now Russia has more than 150,000 troops encircling Ukraine and Belarus and along Ukraine’s border,” Biden said at the White House.
The President gave a speech on Tuesday on the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, saying despite reports of Russia pulling back their troops, the U.S. had not seen any evidence to support those claims.
Putin claimed on Tuesday Russia was sending some troops back to base after completing drills but the U.S. did not support those claims as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that there is a difference between what Moscow says and what they do.
“What we are seeing is no meaningful pullback,” Blinken said on ABC.
Biden warned Americans to leave Ukraine now in an interview with NBC News taped last Thursday, which aired during Sunday’s Super Bowl. He added sending troops into the country to rescue U.S. citizens would result in “world war.”
The United States has said there is a “distinct possibility” Russia could invade Ukraine before the end of the 2022 Winter Olympics on February 20 but Russia has denied all claims of an attack on Ukraine.
“We don’t know exactly what is going to happen, but the risk is now high enough and the threat is now immediate enough,” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated with more information.