US president Joe Biden said on Friday that he would be deploying more US troops to Eastern Europe in the face of growing tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
The Pentagon has reportedly placed around 8,500 troops on alert for possible deployment to Europe amid Russia's military build-up on the Ukraine border, with many fearing that Russian president Vladimir Putin intends to launch an invasion.
The US already has tens of thousands of troops stationed across Europe, but this move signals America's dedication to the possibility of conflict in the near future and willingness to make a statement of deterrence to Russia.
Countries that will be receiving more troops include NATO members Poland, Hungary and Romania and would 'bolster' the alliance's quick response force.
Biden said: 'I’ll be moving troops to eastern Europe and the NATO countries in the near term. Not too many.
'We’re going to actually increase troop presence in Poland, in Romania, etc if in fact he moves. They are part of NATO.'
Ukraine is not a NATO member, though it does have a western border with NATO members Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland.
Putin has demanded that the US prevents Ukraine from joining NATO, an alliance first founded on warding off a potential attack from the Soviet Union in the wake of the Second World War and which has expanded significantly following the collapse of the Soviet bloc.
The BBC reports that any potential Russian invasion of Ukraine could come in February when the muddy ground hardens and makes it easier for tanks and troops to roll in without getting bogged down.
Russia insists it's not planning on invading Ukraine.
However, the Daily Mirror reports US experts are claiming that supplies of blood have been shipped to Russian troops massing on Ukraine's border, a move they warn signals a heightened potential for invasion as it indicates they are expecting to deal with wounded soldiers.
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