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Russia-Ukraine: Biden says he is 'convinced' Putin will invade: LIVE UPDATES

President Biden said Friday that he is "convinced" Russian President Vladimir Putin has made the decision to invade Ukraine, telling reporters that he believes Russia will "target the capital city of Kyiv."


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NATO allies concerned by Zelensky move to leave Ukraine, threat of Russian invasion almost certain

NATO allies, including White House officials, are concerned by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s decision to depart Kyiv for the Munich Security Conference this weekend, sources told Fox News Friday. 

Allies of the 30-member alliance are reportedly worried that Russia could exploit the president’s absence as tension in Eastern Europe has reached a boiling point not seen in decades.

Zelenskyy, who is set to meet with Vice President Kamala Harris on Saturday, is expected to be a key target if Russia does successfully invade Kyiv, sources confirmed.

President Biden said Friday he is "convinced" that Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to invade Ukraine.

In answer to questions from reporters as to whether he believed it would be a mistake for Zelensky to leave Ukraine at this time Biden said, "It may not be…the wise choice, but it's his decision."

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Posted by Kyle Morris

US preps big banks for Russian cyberattacks amid Ukraine crisis

America’s biggest banks are being warned and prepped for a possible Russian cyberattack as tensions with Ukraine escalate.

FOX Business has confirmed officials at JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and other big money center banks had meetings this week with government officials to review tactics Russia could use, along with warnings on Russian cyber activity.

The meetings followed previous outreach from officials to these financial institutions.

"We don't have the level of cyber resilience that we wish. Since the beginning of the administration, President Biden has made both domestic and physical resilience a priority," said Anne Neuberger, Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology, during a press briefing.

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Posted by Kyle Morris

Pelosi warns of 'swift, severe consequences' if Russia invades Ukraine

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday there will be "swift, severe consequences" should Russian President Vladimir Putin invade Ukraine.

Following a meeting with Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko of Kyiv, the capital city of Ukraine, Pelosi said "Russia continues its accelerating and unacceptable hostilities against" the country.

“Mayor Klitschko conveyed the urgent concerns of the innocent people of Kyiv under threat of a Russian invasion and offered a strong voice for Ukrainian sovereignty," Pelosi said in a statement about the meeting. "Our delegation expressed our appreciation for local officials in Ukraine for their work to keep their communities safe and strong during this difficult moment, as well as reiterated America’s support for the people of Ukraine and opposition to Putin’s aggression."

“At the Munich Security Conference, our delegation has made and will continue to make clear: America remains unwavering in our commitment to swift, severe consequences if Russia chooses to invade Ukraine," she added. "Under President Biden, the transatlantic alliance is stronger and more united – and we will continue to be together in our response."

Posted by Kyle Morris
Breaking News

Biden says he is 'convinced' Putin will invade Ukraine

President Biden said Friday that he is "convinced" Russian President Vladimir Putin has made the decision to invade Ukraine, telling reporters that he believes Russia will "target the capital city of Kyiv."

"As of this moment, I'm confident he has made the decision," Biden said. "We have reason to believe that."

Following two "vital calls" on Friday, one with members of Congress and the other with European leaders, Biden said the "overwhelming message on both calls was one of determination, unity, and resolve," but ultimately he believes an invasion is imminent.

Noting that "Russian troops have Ukraine surrounded," Biden said American officials believe Russia will target Ukraine's capital city Kyiv.

Biden said the western front remains "united and resolved" amid the ongoing tension at Ukraine's border.

Asked whether "diplomacy is off the table," Biden said, "No, until he does [invade], diplomacy is always a possibility."

Biden told reporters Thursday that he expected Putin to invade Ukraine in the "next several days."

“They have not moved any of their troops out, they’ve moved more troops in, number one,” Biden said. “Number two, we have reason to believe that they are engaged in a false flag operation to have an excuse to go in."

"Every indication we have is they're prepared to go into Ukraine, attack Ukraine," Biden added, noting that a "diplomatic path is still available before the deadline."

Posted by Kyle Morris

State Department calls evacuations in Eastern Ukraine 'false flag operations,' warns of distractions

The State Department on Friday condemned evacuation calls by the Russia-backed separatist groups in Eastern Ukraine as "false flag operations" that security officials have been warning against.

"Announcements like these are further attempts to obscure through lies and disinformation that Russia is the aggressor in this conflict," a State Department spokesperson told Fox News Digital. "This type of false flag operation is exactly what Secretary Blinken highlighted in his remarks to the UN Security Council."

Leonid Pasechnik, leader of the separatist group in the breakaway Luhansk People's Republic, ordered people to evacuate the Eastern Ukraine region and head for Russia following "the escalation of tension."

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Posted by Kyle Morris

Biden to speak about Russia-Ukraine situation at 4 p.m. ET

President Biden is set to speak later this afternoon on the Russia-Ukraine standoff.

Posted by Greg Norman

State Department reacts to Donbass evacuations, reported explosion in Donetsk

A U.S. State Department spokesperson said Friday that reported evacuations in eastern Ukraine and a car bombing in the city of Donetsk "are further attempts to obscure through lies and disinformation that Russia is the aggressor in this conflict."

"This type of false flag operation is exactly what Secretary [of State] Blinken highlighted in his remarks to the U.N. Security Council," the spokesperson continued. "It is also cynical and cruel to use human beings as pawns to distract the world from the fact that Russia is building up its forces in preparation for an attack.  Russia is the sole instigator of these tensions and is threatening the people of Ukraine. It has put its troops on Ukraine's borders and routinely abuses and violates the rights of the people of Donbass and Crimea.”

A bombing struck a car Friday outside the main government building in the major eastern city of Donetsk, according to an Associated Press journalist there. The head of the separatists' forces, Denis Sinenkov, said the car was his, the Interfax news agency reported.

There were no reports of casualties and no independent confirmation of the circumstances of the blast. Uniformed men inspected the burned-out car. Broken glass littered the area.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted by Greg Norman

Explosion reported in Donetsk, Ukraine

There has been a large explosion Friday in the center of Donetsk, Ukraine, near where the separatist government's headquarters is located, Russian media is reporting.

The claims could not be independently verified.

Posted by Greg Norman

People in Eastern Ukraine being told by rebel leaders to evacuate to Russia: reports

Separatists in eastern Ukraine are issuing warnings Friday for their residents to evacuate to Russia amid continued reports of shelling.

"In connection with the escalation of tension, the head of the LPR, Leonid Pasechnik, called on the inhabitants of the Republic to leave for the territory of the Russian Federation as soon as possible," read a statement on the website of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic.

Denis Pushilin, the leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic, also has ordered an evacuation, according to media reports.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, when asked about the alleged movements, said he had no information on the matter.

Fox News' Amy Kellogg contributed to this report.

Posted by Greg Norman

Ukraine government continues to downplay concerns of an invasion as shelling ramps up

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said Friday that "we estimate the probability of a large-scale escalation as low," despite opposite intelligence assessments coming from the White House and Pentagon in recent days.

In Ukraine, government forces and pro-Russian rebels reported increased shelling for a second straight day Friday, according to Reuters.

Elsewhere in Eastern Europe, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday announced the planned sale of 250 Abrams tanks to Poland, where the U.S. has been deploying troops ahead of potential Russian aggression in Ukraine. 

"This is the most modern version of the Abrams, and will provide Poland with a highly-advanced tank capability," Austin said. "It will also strengthen our interoperability with the Polish armed forces, boosting the credibility of our combined deterrence efforts and those of our other NATO Allies."

Fox News' Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.

Posted by Greg Norman

Blinken to meet with Russian counterpart in Europe next week

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov next week pending Moscow doesn’t invade Ukraine, the State Department says. 

Blinken proposed the meeting “because we believe the only responsible way to resolve this crisis is through diplomacy and dialogue,” according to State Department Spokesperson Ned Price. 

“The Russians have responded with proposed dates for late next week, which we are accepting, provided there is no further Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Price added. “If they do invade in the coming days, it will make clear they were never serious about diplomacy.” 

Posted by Greg Norman

Russian threat to invade Ukraine still ‘very high,’ Biden says

President Joe Biden on Thursday warned that Russia could invade Ukraine within days, and violence spiked in a long-running standoff in eastern Ukraine that some worried could provide the spark for wider conflict.

Speaking at the White House, he said Washington saw no signs of a promised Russian withdrawal, and said the invasion threat remains “very high” because Russia has moved more troops toward the border with Ukraine instead of pulling them back. -With AP

Posted by Edmund DeMarche

Blinken reveals how US believes Russia would invade Ukraine

In a terse U.N. Security Council meeting Thursday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned that Russia’s continued hostility toward Ukraine is a "moment of peril" and threatens global stability.

Blinken proceeded to explain that though U.S. intelligence does not yet know exactly how Russia will choose to launch its attack there are a series of steps the U.S. is anticipating. 

"Here’s what the world can expect to see unfold, in fact it's unfolding right now today as Russia takes steps down the path to war," he began. "First Russia plans to manufacture a pretext for its attack -- this could be a violent event that Russia will bring on Ukraine or an outrageous accusation that Russia will level against the Ukrainian government.

"The secretary described how Russian state-controlled media has already begun spreading falsified claims, including stories of mass graves, to "lay the groundwork" for justification of a provoked attack by Russia."

Second, in response to this manufactured provocation the highest levels of the Russian government may theatrically convene emergency meetings to address the so-called crisis," he continued.

"Next the attack is planned to begin. Russian missiles and bombs will drop across Ukraine, communications will be jammed, cyber-attacks will shut down key institutions. After that, Russian tanks and soldiers will advance." -- Caitlyn McFall

Posted by Fox News Staff

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