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Blinken says Russian invasion 'could begin at any time,' including during Olympics: LIVE UPDATES

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could happen at any moment.


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White House ambiguous on how many Americans are in Ukraine as a Russian invasion looms

The White House has remained ambiguous on how many Americans are in Ukraine, but repeatedly warned Friday that all U.S. citizens need to leave the country within the next 24 to 48 hours, as the threat of a Russian invasion continues to grow. 

"If you stay, you are assuming risk with no guarantee that there will be any other opportunity to leave and there is no prospect of [a] U.S. military evacuation in the event of a Russian invasion," White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said. "If a Russian attack on Ukraine proceeds, it is likely to begin with aerial bombing and missile attacks that could obviously kill civilians without regard to their nationality."

"A subsequent ground invasion would involve the onslaught of a massive force with virtually no notice," he continued. "No one would be able to count on air or rail or road departures once military action got underway."

The Biden administration has remained tight-lipped on the number of Americans registered in Ukraine and Sullivan again directed reporters' questions to the State Department for clarification. 

Click here to read more on Fox News.

Posted by Kyle Morris

Four U.S. destroyers arrive in European waters to support NATO

As the prospect for a Russian invasion of Ukraine appears to grow, a Navy official tells Fox News that four U.S. destroyers have arrived in European waters to support NATO.

The ships -- USS The Sullivans (DDG 68), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) and USS Mitscher (DDG 57) -- arrived in Europe from bases on the east coast of the United States.

Those ships, all of which are ballistic-missile defense ships, are loaded with a full compliment of Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Fox News correspondent Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this update.

Posted by Kyle Morris

Biden to speak with Putin by phone Saturday morning amid escalating tension in Ukraine

President Biden will speak to Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone late Saturday morning as tensions mount along the border in Ukraine, the National Security Council confirmed on Friday.

Biden's call with Putin is slated to take place late Saturday morning Eastern time from Camp David.

Russia wanted to speak on Monday. The U.S. pushed for Saturday and Russia agreed.

Posted by Kyle Morris

US official: Ukrainian military 'on edge' as potential Russian invasion looms

The Ukrainian military is "on edge" and "more stressed" as the prospect for a Russian invasion of the country appears to strengthen, a U.S. official told Fox News Friday.

“The Ukrainian military is on edge tonight," the official said. "I have never heard them more stressed than during calls today."

The State Department is making calls to some of the 30,000 American citizens who remain in Ukraine, urging them to vacate the country within the next 24-48 hours, the official said.

Several warnings, including one from the State Department, have urged Americans to depart from Ukraine "as soon as possible."

Fox News correspondent Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this update.

Posted by Kyle Morris

Joint Chiefs of Staff Milley holds phone call with Russian counterpart on 'security-related issues'

Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley held a series of phone calls on Friday with several of his foreign counterparts, including that of Russia, to address security-related concerns amid rising tensions in Ukraine.

A readout of Milley's call with Chief of Russian General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov noted the two military leaders "discussed several security-related issues of concern" and did not offer additional details on what was discussed.

In addition, Milley held phone calls with his counterparts from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, and the United Kingdom.

Milley's office said the leaders discussed "items of mutual security concern, including ongoing coordination during the adjustment of U.S. force posture in Europe."

Posted by Kyle Morris

Pentagon to deploy 3,000 paratroopers to Poland amid Ukraine tensions

The Pentagon will send 3,000 paratroopers from the 82 Airborne Division to Poland in the coming days as the prospect for a Russian invasion of Ukraine appears to grow, a U.S. senior defense official confirmed to Fox News on Friday.

"At the direction of the President, Secretary Austin today ordered to Poland the remaining 3,000 soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Infantry Brigade Combat Team based at Fort Bragg, N.C.," the official said. "These troops will depart Fort Bragg over the next couple days. They are expected to be in place by early next week."

This group, the second batch of soldiers being sent to Poland, will join the 1,700 soldiers and key enablers that Austin ordered there on February 2nd.

"Nearly two-thirds of this first tranche has already arrived," the official said, noting that they are commanded by Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue.

"All told, these 5,000 additional personnel comprise a highly mobile and flexible force, capable of multiple missions," the official added. "They are being deployed to reassure our NATO allies, deter any potential aggression against NATO’s eastern flank, train with host-nation forces, and contribute to a wide range of contingencies. They will report to Gen. Tod Wolters, Commander, U.S. European Command."

The official said the "additional deployments are temporary in nature" and are "meant to supplement for a brief time the more than 80,000 U.S. troops already in Europe on rotational and permanent orders."

Fox News' Jennifer Griffin and Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this update.

Posted by Kyle Morris

NSA Sullivan denies PBS report, says Russian invasion into Ukraine could happen 'any day now'

Jake Sullivan, national security advisor to President Biden, denied a PBS report that suggested U.S. intelligence showed Russian President Vladimir Putin had decided to invade Ukraine, saying Friday that U.S. officials are not aware that Putin has made a final decision but “continue to see signs of Russian escalation.”

"As we have said before, we are in the window when an invasion could begin at any time should Vladimir Putin decide to order it," he said.

Pushing back against the PBS report, Sullivan, speaking from the White House, said an invasion could happen "any day now," possibly even "during the Olympics" taking place in Beijing.

Sullivan affirmed that America is "also ready to respond to decisively," along side foreign allies "should Russia choose to take military action."

"Our response would include severe economic sanctions, with similar packages imposed by the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, and other countries," Sullivan said. "It would also include changes to NATA and American force posture along the Eastern flank fo NATO. And it would include continued support to Ukraine.

Sullivan also echoed warnings from the State Department urging Americans to depart from Ukraine "as soon as possible."

"We want to be crystal clear on this point, any American in Ukraine should leave as soon as possible and in any event in the next 24 to 48 hours," Sullivan said. "We obviously cannot predict the future. We don't know exactly what is going to happen. But the risk is now high enough and the threat is now immediate enough that this is what prudence demands."

"Russia could choose, in very short order, to commence a major military action against Ukraine," he added.

Sullivan also noted that those who remain in the country following warnings will not be rescued by American military forces should Russia invade.

"If you stay, you are assuming risk with no guarantee that there will be any other opportunity to leave and no prospect of a U.S. military evacuation in the event of a Russian invasion."

Posted by Kyle Morris

UK warns citizens from traveling to Ukraine

The United Kingdom has now joined the list of countries urging its citizens to avoid all travel to Ukraine over concerns of a potential Russian invasion.

"British nationals in Ukraine should leave now while commercial means are still available," its foreign office said in an alert Friday, advising "against all travel to Ukraine."

Posted by Greg Norman

Russia-Ukraine tensions build to 'dangerous moment,' NATO warns

KYIV, Ukraine – Russia and Belarus have launched the largest joint military exercises since the Cold War, with 30,000 Russian troops taking part, according to U.S. military estimates. 

Many nervous NATO allies wonder what comes next when the drills end on Feb. 20th. Will the Russian troops go home or invade Ukraine and take over the capital city and topple the government? 

"This is probably the most dangerous moment," said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at NATO headquarters Thursday, "in what is the biggest security crisis that Europe has faced for decades." 

"This is a dangerous moment for European security. The number of Russian forces is going up. The warning time for a possible attack is going down," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said at a news conference alongside Johnson in Brussels.

The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine announced Friday that the 14th flight of weapons had arrived in Kyiv, including more Javelin anti-tank missiles. 

Click here to read more on Fox News.

Posted by Lucas Y. Tomlinson

Israel orders Ukraine evacuations, issues travel warning

Israel on Friday is evacuating families of diplomats and has issued a travel warning to Ukraine urging its citizens to avoid conflict areas and register at the embassy, Fox News' Yonat Friling reports.

Posted by Fox News

Macron refused to take Russian COVID test over fear Putin would nab DNA: report

French President Emmanuel Macron refused a Russian COVID-19 test during his visit with Russian President Vladimir Putin due to fears that Russian authorities could use the test to obtain his DNA, according to a report.

Macron later appeared across a long table from Putin.

"We knew very well that meant no handshake and that long table. But we could not accept that they get their hands on the president's DNA," a source said, according to Reuters.

Asked for comment by the outlet, a Macron spokesperson said, "The president has doctors who define with him the rules that are acceptable or not in terms of his own health protocol." Fox News Digital has reached out to the French Embassy in Washington for comment.

Click here to read more on Fox News.

Posted by Fox News

Biden to huddle with world leaders, NATO on Ukraine situation

The White House says President Biden will hold a call with world leaders at 11 a.m. ET today "to discuss our shared concerns about Russia’s continued buildup of military forces around Ukraine and continued coordination on both diplomacy and deterrence."

Included on the call will be Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and other world leaders and officials.

Posted by Greg Norman

The world is awaiting Russia's next move as military exercise activity on the rise

Fox News reporter Lucas Tomlinson speaks about NATO feeling concerned as Russian military exercises continue and former U.S. Army Europe commander Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges discusses why he doesn't expect a full Russian invasion to occur.

Posted by Fox News

Blinken: Russian invasion of Ukraine 'could begin at any time,' including during Olympics

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday that "we continue to see very troubling signs of Russian escalation, including new forces arriving at the Ukrainian border.” 

“We’re in a window when an invasion could begin at any time and, to be clear, that includes during the Olympics,” he added. "We’re continuing to draw down our embassy.  We will continue that process.  And we’ve also been very clear that any American citizens who remain in Ukraine should leave now."

Blinken made the comments following a meeting with his counterparts from India, Japan and Australia in Melbourne, Australia.

His remarks come as the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine issued a fresh alert Friday for Americans to stay away from the country.

"Do not travel to Ukraine due to the increased threats of Russian military action and COVID-19; those in Ukraine should depart now via commercial or private means," the alert raid. "If remaining in Ukraine, exercise increased caution due to crime, civil unrest, and potential combat operations should Russia take military action. Some areas have increased risk.'

Posted by Greg Norman

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