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Russia has troops in place to invade Ukraine any time, US warns

Russia has the troops in place to invade Ukraine “at any time” and American citizens should leave within the next 48 hours, the US has warned.

An invasion could start with aerial bombing that would make departures difficult and endanger civilians, the White House said on Friday.

Moscow has repeatedly denied any plans to invade Ukraine despite massing more than 100,000 troops near the border.




A host of other countries have also urged their nationals to leave Ukraine.

They include the UK, Canada, the Netherlands, Latvia, Japan and South Korea.

Russia’s foreign ministry has accused Western countries of spreading false information.



US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Russian forces were now “in a position to be able to mount a major military action” in remarks seen as a clear escalation in the urgency of warnings from US officials.

“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 [leaving] is prudent,” he said.

Mr Sullivan added that the administration did not know if Russian President Vladimir Putin had made a final decision to invade, but said that the Kremlin was looking for a pretext to justify military action, which he said could start with intense aerial bombardment.

President Biden has said that he would not send troops to rescue any citizens left stranded in the event of Russian action.

On Friday, the US president hosted a video call with transatlantic leaders in which they agreed on co-ordinated action to inflict severe economic consequences on Russia if it invaded Ukraine.

The US also said it was deploying a further 3,000 troops from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to Poland, and that they were expected to arrive there next week. The troops will not fight in Ukraine, but will ensure the defence of US allies.

Both Mr Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron are expected to speak to Mr Putin on Saturday.