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POTUS Will Move Troops to Ukraine Border As Top General Warns of ‘Horrific Outcome’ If Russia Invades

POTUS Will Move Troops to Ukraine Border As Top General Warns of ‘Horrific Outcome’ If Russia Invades

President Joe Biden said on Friday that he will move US troops to NATO allies in Eastern Europe in the “near term,” marking a new phase in the US response to Russia’s escalation on the Ukrainian border, which US officials fear could soon lead to an invasion. If Putin invades Ukraine, U.S. and U.K. officials have vowed to unleash punishing sanctions that could cause severe inflation, a stock market crash, and other forms of financial panic in Russia. But the strategy comes with political and economic risks.

As many as 8,500 US troops had been placed on heightened alert earlier this week to prepare to deploy to Eastern Europe — including units with “medical support, aviation support, logistical support” and “combat formation,” according to a Pentagon spokesman.

Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

“I will be moving US troops to Eastern Europe in NATO countries in the near term,” President Biden told reporters when asked about a timeline for moving the troops, adding that he did not have any updates on the situation in Ukraine.

The President made his comments soon after Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley warned a Russian invasion of Ukraine would be “horrific” for the country and would result in “significant” casualties as he urged Putin to choose a diplomatic path instead.

Milley, who along with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin briefed reporters Friday on the US military’s preparations, spoke of Ukraine’s geography, noting that when its “high water table” freezes, “it makes it for optimal conditions for cross-country tract and wheeled vehicle maneuver.”

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke with President Biden by phone Thursday, where the two leaders disagreed on the urgency of the threat Russia poses, and Zelensky reiterated his view speaking in Ukraine Friday that the rhetoric risks causing panic and destabilizing his country’s economy. “They are saying tomorrow is the war. This means panic,” Zelensky told reporters.

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But Milley said that he thinks Russia’s actions “feel different” than previous escalations. “This is larger in scale and scope in the massing of forces than anything we’ve seen in recent memory, and I think you’d have to go back quite a while into the Cold War days to see something of this magnitude,” he said.

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