These are images from the private US company Maxar Technologies. Shown on them: A brand new bridge over the Pripyat. Six kilometers from the border with Ukraine. Maxar also speaks of 20 newly discovered Russian attack helicopters stationed in Belarus.
US President Joe Biden will hold talks on Friday about the crisis with Russia Ukraine with the heads of state or government of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, Great Britain as well as top representatives of the European Union and NATO. This was announced by the office of Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Despite all the assurances from Moscow, Biden fears a Russian invasion of the Ukraine in the next days.
Biden said Thursday in Washington the threat of an invasion was “very high.” His Foreign Minister Antony Blinken told the UN Security Council that Russia was preparing for an attack “in the coming days”. Moscow wants to create a pretext for this, Blinken said on Thursday.
Diplomacy is still the most important way to solve the crisis, Blinken continued. He therefore accepts an invitation to meet his Russian colleague Sergei Lavrov. The meeting is scheduled to take place at the end of next week, unless Russia is in the Ukraine marched in, the US State Department announced on Thursday (local time). Blinken also said he sent a letter to Lavrov on Thursday proposing a meeting in Europe next week.
According to an agency report, the defense ministers of Russia and the United States, Sergei Shoigu and Lloyd Austin, will be on the phone on Friday. The Interfax news agency reported that the initiative for the talks came from the United States, citing the Russian ministry. Austin is also visiting his Polish counterpart Mariusz Blaszczak in Warsaw on Friday.
Russia says it has begun withdrawing more soldiers and military equipment from the Ukrainian border. The Defense Ministry in Moscow announced on Friday that some soldiers had returned to their garrisons in the western Russian region of Nizhny Novgorod after the scheduled completion of their military exercises. Military equipment belonging to Panzer Army units in the Western Military District had also been withdrawn.
Ten Su-24 fighter jets were also withdrawn from the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, according to a separate statement from the ministry.