ukraine's leaders sought to reassure the nation that a feared invasion from neighboring russia was not imminent, even as they acknowledged the threat is real and prepared to accept a shipment of us military equipment to bolster its defences.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said late Monday that the situation was "under control" and that there is “ no reason to panic. ” Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said that, as of Monday, that Russia's armed forces had not formed what he called battle groups, "which would have indicated that tomorrow they would launch an offensive."

"There are risky scenarios.

They 're possible and probable in the future," he told Ukraine's ICTV channel on Monday.

"But as of today ... such a threat doesn't exist."

Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine's national security and defence council, echoed that sentiment, saying : "As of today, we don't see any grounds for statements about a full-scale offensive on our country."

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement on developments in the region in the House of Commons today, where he said he joined a virtual meeting with world leaders including US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, last night.

Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said Russian President Vladimir Putin will talk to his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron later this week.

What's going on at Russian military bases near Ukraine?

Moscow said earlier it was watching with great concern after the United States put 8,500 troops on alert to be ready to deploy to Europe in case of an escalation in the crisis.

The US move is in tandem with actions by other NATO member governments to bolster a defensive presence in eastern Europe.

Denmark, for example, is sending a frigate and F-16 warplanes to Lithuania; Spain is sending four fighter jets to Bulgaria and three ships to the Black Sea to join NATO naval forces, and France stands ready to send troops to Romania.

Russia has massed an estimated 100,000 troops near its border with Ukraine in recent weeks but denies it is preparing to invade- denouncing US and NATO preparations for war as Western "hysteria".

Intense diplomatic activity in recent weeks has failed to ease tensions.

The State Department has ordered the families of all American personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv to leave the country, and it said that nonessential embassy staff could leave.

ukraine, a former soviet state, has been locked in a bitter tug-of-war with russia for almost eight years.

in 2014, following the ouster of a kremlin-friendly president in ukraine, moscow annexed the crimean peninsula and threw its weight behind a separatist insurgency in the country's industrial heartland in the east.

the fighting between ukrainian forces and russia-backed rebels has since killed over 14,000 people, and efforts to reach a peaceful settlement of the conflict have stalled.

In the latest standoff, Russia has demanded guarantees from the West that NATO would never allow Ukraine to join and that the alliance would curtail other actions, such as stationing troops in former Soviet bloc countries.

some of these, like any pledge to permanently bar ukraine, are non-starters for nato — creating a seemingly intractable stalemate that many fear can only end in war.

Britain said it, too, was withdrawing some diplomats and dependents from its embassy.

russia's western periphery that joined the alliance after the soviet collapse.

Talks about the Ukraine crisis between senior US and Russian diplomats, held in Geneva at the end of last week, appear to have calmed tensions, at least for now.

The situation on Ukraine's land and sea borders, where Moscow has amassed troops and powerful military assets, remains grave.

Russia ’ s foreign minister said the talks had been "constructive and useful" and agreed to continue them this week.

President Vladimir Putin's overarching aim is to undermine agreed, post-Soviet security structures in Europe and recreate a sphere of influence beyond Russia ’ s borders.

his list has now expanded to include romania and slovakia.

He is also demanding written pledges that Nato will never invite Ukraine, Georgia or Moldova to join and that the allies will pull back troops and defensive missile systems from eastern Europe.

The Russian leader has already invaded Ukraine once, with little reaction.

Now, however, Putin sees the alliance as threatening Russia's security.

He came to power vowing to restore to Russia a sense of greatness.

And we will never allow our historical territories and people close to us living there to be used against Russia.

The challenge for Biden, NATO and the European Union is whether their collective resolve and solidarity can protect Ukraine's vision of itself as part of the West, and whether Putin ’ s Russian nationalist ambitions in the region will succeed or fail.

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