He is putting it in place US warns Putin is plotting imminent invasion as war fears soar

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Tensions have been rising at the Ukrainian border, with Russian troops building up in the area. But a warning from the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken suggests a war may be on the horizon if these troops are not taken back.

Mr Blinken said: “We don’t know whether President (Vladimir) Putin has made the decision to invade.

“We do know that he is putting in place the capacity to do so on short order should he so decide.

“Should Russia follow the path of confrontation, when it comes to Ukraine, we’ve made clear that we will respond resolutely, including with a range of high impact economic measures that we have refrained from pursuing in the past.”

Iulia Joja, director and senior fellow at the Middle East Institute, and adjunct professor at Georgetown University, recently spoke of what the future may hold for the Russian military.

She told Newsweek: “Politically not all NATO member states are ready for that and we know that Russia is instrumentalising it to draw red lines, and further increase pressure on the west not to help Ukraine.

“This also brings us into this difficult cycle of NATO membership, with Russia saying that ‘this is a red line’ and the United States having a problematic history over the last few years of red lines.”

Ms Joja continued: “It is a conundrum in which the Biden administration is in right now”.

The director said that the US may struggle with trying “to help Ukraine in real terms and make a difference on the ground, without inadvertently escalating a response from Russia”.

Ms Joja added: “The question in the relationship between Ukraine and Russia and the United States is what the United States can do more to help, certainly there is more need for military equipment.”

Reports on Twitter also suggested recently checkpoints were set up and tanks had been deployed between Boguchar and Kantemirovska.

@MarQs_ took to Twitter to speculate on what was going on at the border.

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They tweeted: “#Russia has set up checkpoints between Boguchar and Kantemirovska.

“Military equipment was spotted moving in the fields nearby.

“The district administration assured that the appearance of the armored personnel carriers was not connected with any emergency situation.”

They continued: “Press service of the border department of the FSB of the Russian Federation in the Belgorod and Voronezh regions announced this on November 22nd.

“The closure is ‘in order to create the necessary conditions for the protection of the state border’.

“Only local residents or those who have permission will be allowed in this area, which also means no access for journalists.”

There were no confirmed reports to suggest that this was the case.

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