Russia deployed around 7,000 more troops to the Ukraine border over the last several days despite Russian President Vladimir Putin claiming he would pull back.
Western authorities estimate that around 150,000 Russian troops are stationed on the east, north and south of Ukraine, Just the News reports.
“We have now confirmed that in the last several days, Russia has increased its troop presence along the Ukrainian border by as many as 7,000 troops, with some arriving as recently as today,” an official told reporters on a call Wednesday evening.
“Every indication we have now is they mean only to publicly offer to talk and make claims about de-escalation while privately mobilizing for war,” the official said, adding that the U.S. is receiving indications that Russia could launch a false pretext to justify an invasion of Ukraine “at any moment.”
Biden said Tuesday that the U.S. had not verified whether the Russian military would return to their home bases.
“Indeed our analysts indicate that they remain very much in a threatening position,” he said.
A senior administration official also told the Associated Press that Russia is making egregious false claims, including creating reports of Ukrainian Armed Forces allegedly killing civilians and burying them in unmarked graves, as well as Ukraine and the U.S. producing biological or chemical weapons.
“We continue to see forces, especially forces that would be in the vanguard of any renewed aggression against Ukraine, continuing to be at the border, to mass at the border,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said during an ABC interview Wednesday, per The Hill.