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Ukraine-Russia crisis: What you need to know about war fears

In stark contrast to intense diplomacy which aimed to prevent war between Russia, Ukraine, thousands of soldiers sent by Moscow to Belarus participated in military drills. As part of the maneuvers, convoys carrying Russian anti-aircraft weapons systems ran along snow-covered roads.

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Ukraine-Russia crisis: What you need to know about war fears

In the meantime, NATO forces are also on the move and heading towards the alliance's eastern border. Meanwhile, Britain has placed 1,000 troops on alert to deal with a humanitarian crisis in Eastern Europe.

Russia has more than 100,000 troops close to Ukraine's borders, but it says that there is no plan for an invasion. It seeks assurances from the West that NATO will not allow Ukraine or other ex-Soviet nations to join the Western military alliance.

After meeting in Paris last month with foreign policy advisors from France, Russia, Ukraine and Germany, another round of negotiations was held in Berlin. They did not report any progress in the implementation of the 2015 peace accord which helped to end hostilities between Ukrainian forces, Russia-backed separatists and eastern Ukraine.

Here are some examples of what is happening and why.

BIDEN URGES AMERICANS to LEAVE UKRAINE

U.S. President Joe Biden reiterated his warning to anyone still living in Ukraine that they should evacuate as soon as possible.

"It's not as if we're dealing in terrorist organizations. We are dealing with one the largest armies of the world. "It's a very different situation, and things could get crazy fast," he stated in an interview on Thursday with NBC News.

When asked if there were any scenarios that would make it possible for the United States to send troops to Ukraine to save Americans, the president replied: "There isn't. It's a world conflict when Russia and the Americans start firing at each other.

He claimed that Putin was "foolish enough" to enter the country, but smart enough to not do anything that would have a negative impact on American citizens.

Biden answered the question, "Yes," when asked if he has ever said it to Putin.

"I didn’t have to tell him that. I've talked about it. Biden stated that he knew this.

For weeks, the State Department has been advising Americans living in Ukraine to flee the country.

Darlene Superville, Washington

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BORIS JOHNSON AT NATO THEN IN POLAND

Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister, and Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, are warning that Russia’s military buildup in Ukraine is one of the most serious threats to European security in recent history.

Johnson stated that this was the most dangerous time in Europe, and that it would be over the next few days. It is also the worst security crisis Europe has ever faced, and the EU must get it right," Johnson said to reporters at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.

British leader Johnson said that he does not believe Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a decision to attack Ukraine. Johnson stated, however, that "our intelligence," he was afraid to admit, is still grim.

Stoltenberg warned that the number of Russian forces is increasing and that there is a decreasing warning time for an attack.

He stated that NATO is not a threat for Russia but that we should be ready for the worst.

Stoltenberg stated that he had sent Sergey Lavrov a new letter, repeating NATO's invitation for a series of discussions on improving European security.

Johnson traveled from Brussels, Poland to Warsaw to meet with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

They met British soldiers near Poland's capital in the context of a NATO mission to strengthen the alliance's eastern flank. Poland borders Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia's Kaliningrad area.

"Putin's goal in politics is to disintegrate NATO. Morawiecki stated that this is why we must stay close together.

"On the one side of these scales, you will find freedom and European security. He said that on the other side there was destabilization and all the Kremlin's schemes.

The Polish prime minister stated that "we want to build connections and bridges with Russia, but they want to do so on the foundations of peace."

Lorne Cook in Brussels, Jill Lawless London and Monika Scislowska Warsaw

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TRUSS AND LAVROV TABLES

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss met with Lavrov in Moscow. Truss warned that an attack on Ukraine would have "major consequences" and incur severe costs.

Truss exhorted Russia to abandon Cold War rhetoric and to choose diplomatic routes to avoid war in Ukraine.

During the fourth meeting between Britain's top diplomats and Russia, Lavrov refused to listen to Western lectures.

He said, "Ideological approaches and ultimatums are a road to nowhere."

-- Sylvia Hui in London.

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UKRAINE ACCEPTS THE TURKEY MEDIATION OFFER

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavrusoglu stated that Ukraine accepted Ankara’s offer to mediate in order to reduce tensions with Russia. Moscow has not denied the possibility.

Cavusoglu stated that talks with both sides were continuing with sincerity. He spoke to state broadcaster TRT. "The Ukrainian side desires this. "The Russian side has not shut the door on us, but we will continue to have contact with them."

Cavusoglu also criticised Western diplomatic efforts without naming any country, saying that they were inflaming tensions rather than easing them.

Are there tensions? Yes. Are there any risks? These risks exist. Are things fragile? It is. It is. Cavusoglu stated that it was not beneficial to declare this via megaphone diplomacy, as some Western countries do.

Suzan Fraser in Ankara

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BRITISH AND U.S. BRITISH AND U.S. TROOPS ON MOVE

Britain has placed 1,000 troops on alert to deal with any "humanitarian emergency" in Eastern Europe that could be triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Britain fears that a large-scale invasion could lead to mass displacements of Ukrainians from neighboring countries.

As part of NATO's show of strength, the U.K. also sends hundreds of troops to Estonian and Polish.

Johnson is expected offer to send more RAF aircraft to Southern Europe and Royal Navy vessels to Eastern Mediterranean.

The U.S. is also sending vessels to European waters. Although the Navy didn't directly link the deployment of four destroyers with the Ukraine crisis, it said that they would provide "additional flexibility" to the U.S. Sixth Fleet Commander, whose responsibility covers the Mediterranean and will support NATO allies.

The USS Mitscher, USS Gonzalez, and USS The Sullivans, both homeported in Norfolk, Virginia, respectively, are the four ships. The USS Donald Cook is based at Mayport Florida.

-- Jill Lawless, London, and Robert Burns, Washington

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DENMARK PLANS DEFENSE TALKS w/ US

The Danish government announced Thursday that it will start negotiations on a new defense cooperation deal with the U.S. This agreement could include American troops and military equipment being allowed to be stationed in Denmark -- a reverse of decades-old policy.

Mette Frederiksen, the Danish Prime Minister, stressed that this move was not an answer to current Russia-Ukraine tensions. Mette Frederiksen said that talks to intensify military cooperation between Washington and Copenhagen have been underway for some time.

Frederiksen stated that an increased American commitment in Denmark would improve access to the European continent. This was quoted by Danish public broadcaster DR.

Morten Boedskov, the Danish Defense Minister, told reporters that there would not be any American military bases in Denmark. He also declined to comment on where U.S. troops will be stationed in the country.

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