Ukrainian troops take part in a military drill outside the city of Rivne on Wednesday.

Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images


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Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images


Ukrainian troops take part in a military drill outside the city of Rivne on Wednesday.

Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images

Russia’s recent claim that it was beginning to pull back some troops from Ukraine’s border is “false,” a senior administration official told reporters in a background briefing Wednesday.

“In fact,” the official said, “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.”

The official added that despite Russia saying it’s interested in diplomacy, “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 administration official reiterated that the Biden administration would welcome diplomacy and steps to de-escalate the conflict, but offered the stark warning in a briefing ahead of Vice President Harris’ trip to Germany, where she is leading the U.S. delegation to the Munich Security Conference. There, she plans to meet with 13 heads of state this weekend, according to senior administration officials.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.



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