WASHINGTON - Russia's buildup of an estimated 100,000 troops along its border with Ukraine, along with military exercises in Belarus, has raised concern that Russia could be planning an invasion of Ukraine. Russia's positions include troops, tanks and artillery to Ukraine's north, south and east.
Until 1991, Ukraine was part of the Russia-led Soviet Union. Current tensions with Russia date to 2014, when Russia invaded and seized the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine, a move not recognized by the European Union or United States. Russia has also backed separatists who control a swath of territory bordering Russia in eastern Ukraine.
Recent meetings with Russia involving the United States, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe yielded little tangible result as Ukraine's allies called for Russia to de-escalate the situation.
A convoy of Russian armored vehicles moves along a highway in Crimea, Jan. 18, 2022. Russia has concentrated an estimated 100,000 troops with tanks and other heavy weapons near Ukraine .
Russia has dismissed allegations of a planned invasion and has sought certain security guarantees, including that NATO will not expand further along its border such as by admitting Ukraine to the Western military alliance. The U.S. and NATO have rejected such requests, saying NATO has an open-door policy and Ukraine is free to make its own decisions about joining alliance.
Western allies of Ukraine have pledged to punish Russia with harsh economic sanctions if it does make an assault on Ukrainian territory.
Some information for this report came from the Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.