WASHINGTON — The Biden administration warned on Friday that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia might mount a serious assault on Ukraine at any time, having constructed up formidable land, sea and air forces on three sides of its smaller neighbor.
U.S. intelligence officers had initially thought Mr. Putin was ready to attend till the tip of the Winter Olympics in Beijing earlier than probably ordering an offensive, to keep away from antagonizing President Xi Jinping of China, a important ally. In latest days, they are saying, the timeline started transferring up, an acceleration that Biden administration officers started publicly acknowledging on Friday.
“We proceed to see indicators of Russian escalation, together with new forces arriving on the Ukrainian border,” Jake Sullivan, the president’s nationwide safety adviser, instructed reporters on Friday, including that an invasion might start “in the course of the Olympics,” that are scheduled to finish on Feb. 20.
U.S. officers have no idea whether or not Mr. Putin has determined to invade, Mr. Sullivan insisted. “We’re prepared both approach,” he stated. “No matter occurs subsequent, the West is extra united than it has been in years.”
The USA has picked up intelligence that Russia is discussing subsequent Wednesday because the goal date for the beginning of army motion, officers stated, acknowledging the likelihood that mentioning a specific date may very well be a part of a Russian disinformation effort. The mixture of the Russian troop actions and the brand new details about a potential date helped to set off the flurry of diplomatic exercise and public warnings by the NATO allies on Friday.
Antony J. Blinken, the secretary of state, instructed reporters at a information convention in Melbourne, Australia, that an “invasion might start at any time. And, to be clear, that features in the course of the Olympics.” Mr. Blinken added that U.S. officers “proceed to see very troubling indicators of Russian escalation, together with new forces arriving on the Ukrainian border.”
The USA has dominated out sending troops to defend Ukraine however has elevated deployments to NATO member international locations in Japanese Europe, and on Friday the Pentagon ordered 3,000 extra troopers to Poland.
Mr. Putin and Mr. Biden will converse by phone on Saturday, based on the Kremlin and a White Home spokesman, and the Kremlin stated Mr. Putin would additionally converse once more with President Emmanuel Macron of France.
The Kremlin stated that the dialog with Mr. Biden could be on the White Home’s request; the White Home spokesman, talking on the situation of anonymity to explain personal conversations, stated the Kremlin had steered a name on Monday, and the White Home proposed a name sooner, on Saturday.
Russia’s international ministry dismissed American speak of warfare as mere propaganda.
“A coordinated info assault is being performed in opposition to Moscow,” the ministry stated in a press release, together with an inventory of earlier Western warnings of a potential imminent invasion. That messaging, it stated, is “geared toward undermining and discrediting Russia’s truthful calls for for safety ensures, in addition to at justifying Western geopolitical aspirations and army absorption of Ukraine’s territory.”
Maria Zakharova, the ministry spokeswoman, wrote on the Telegram app: “The White Home’s hysteria is as revealing as ever. The Anglo-Saxons want warfare at any worth.”
Mr. Sullivan stated, “Russia might select in very brief order to begin a serious army motion in opposition to Ukraine,” however added that officers couldn’t be certain precisely when, or if, Mr. Putin might resolve to invade. As he spoke, Mr. Biden was getting ready to depart for Camp David for the weekend — the whir of Marine One’s blades may very well be heard within the White Home briefing room.
“The danger is now excessive sufficient and the risk is now instant sufficient that that is what prudence calls for,” Mr. Sullivan stated. “We imagine he very nicely might give the ultimate go order,” he added, “however we aren’t standing right here earlier than you right now saying the order has been given.”
On Friday, Mr. Biden spoke with different trans-Atlantic leaders in a name that included Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany; Prime Ministers Boris Johnson of Britain, Mario Draghi of Italy and Justin Trudeau of Canada; and Presidents Macron, Andrzej Duda of Poland, Klaus Iohannis of Romania, Ursula von der Leyen of the European Fee and Charles Michel of the European Council; and the NATO secretary common, Jens Stoltenberg.
The leaders met for about 80 minutes, in a name that was initially purported to be centered on “diplomacy and deterrence,” the White Home stated.
The decision got here as Russia builds up its forces round Ukraine — in Belarus, western Russia and Crimea, the territory Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014 — in what U.S. and NATO leaders have stated seems to be preparation for an invasion.
Ukraine stated on Friday that Russian-backed separatists had been holding army workouts within the slice of jap Ukraine they management, on the similar time that Russia holds workouts close to Ukraine.