Russia-Ukraine crisis:US says over 1.5 lakh Russian troops encircle Kyiv

Russia Ukraine Crisis Live News, Ukraine Crisis News Today: A series of cyberattacks Tuesday knocked the websites of the Ukrainian army, the defense ministry and major banks offline.

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Ukraine Crisis Live: Despite Moscow saying some of its troops are returning home, the United States Wednesday warned that a Russian invasion of Ukraine remained a distinct possibility. US President Joe Biden, in a televised address, said that reports of pullback of troops are unverified and revised the number of Russian troops encircling Ukraine from 1,00,000 to 1,50,000.

Meanwhile, a series of cyber attack  Tuesday knocked the websites of the Ukrainian army, the defense ministry and major banks offline. At least 10 Ukrainian websites were unreachable due to the attacks, including the defense, foreign and culture ministries and Ukraine’s two largest state banks. One European diplomat told Reuters that cyberattacks were a longstanding component of Russian strategy, and had been used by Moscow in past military confrontations with Georgia and Ukraine. “It’s part of their playbook,” the official said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow is ready for talks with the US and NATO on limits for missile deployments and military transparency. Speaking after talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Putin said the US and NATO rejected Moscow’s demand to keep Ukraine and other ex-Soviet nations out of NATO, halt weapons deployments near Russian borders and roll back alliance forces from Eastern Europe.

In the midst of his brinkmanship over neighboring Ukraine in recent weeks, President Vladimir Putin has also been busy trying to expand Russia’s influence thousands of miles away: in Latin America.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that he welcomed a security dialogue with the West, and his military reported pulling back some of its troops near Ukraine. But US President Joe Biden said the US had not verified Russia’s claim and that an invasion was still a distinct possibility.

Russia’s claim that it pulled back troops “would be good, but we have not yet verified that,” Biden said. “Indeed, our analysts indicate that they remain very much in a threatening position.”

 

The Russian Defense Ministry released images of tanks and howitzers rolling onto railway platforms and more tanks rolling across snowy fields. It did not disclose where or when the images were taken, or where the vehicles were headed, other than “to places of permanent deployment.”

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