President Joe Biden has approved the deployment of thousands more US troops to Poland and Germany in the coming days amid fears Russia will invade Ukraine, an administration official says.
Some 2,000 troops will be sent to Poland and Germany, while the US will also reposition part of a 1,000-strong infantry squadron currently in Germany to Romania.
It comes amid stalled talks with Russia over its military build-up at Ukraine’s borders.
The deployment underscores growing fears across Europe that Russian President Vladimir Putin will order an invasion of Ukraine – and smaller NATO countries on the eastern flank worry they could be next.
Satellite images emerged earlier today that reveal a build-up of Russia’s military presence in Crimea and western Russia.
The pictures show an increase in tents designed to accommodate troops at a number of Russian bases.
Previous satellite images showed Russia has been deploying large equipment, such as military vehicles, to their bases – but the latest pictures are the first of their kind to show extra troops were also being sent to camps near or within Ukraine’s border.
The US troop deployment comes as Boris Johnson prepares to speak with Mr Putin in an effort to cool tensions over Ukraine – and after one of Russia’s top diplomats said he did not trust British diplomacy.
Russia’s Deputy UN Ambassador, Dmitry Polyanskiy, told Sky News: “There is always room for diplomacy, but frankly, we don’t trust British diplomacy. I think in recent years British diplomacy has shown that it is absolutely worthless.
“I really don’t want to offend anybody, especially my good friends, British diplomats, but really, the results are nothing to boast about.”