Ukraine has been the focus of tensions between Russia and the West for several months

Tensions over Ukraine have increased in recent months over accusations from Western countries that Moscow is preparing an invasion.

Ukraine and Russia have been at loggerheads since the Russian government annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014.

Tensions have escalated over the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which has left more than 13,000 dead so far and where Russia is accused of supporting separatists. The Kremlin denies it.

troop movement

On November 10, the United States asks Russia for an explanation after detecting “unusual” troop movements on the border with Ukraine.

By April, Moscow had already massed around 100,000 troops on the border, fueling early fears of invasion.

NATO, the European Union, France and Germany warn the Russian government against any further “aggressive” action.

Russian President Vladimir Putin accuses Westerners of exacerbating tensions by delivering modern weaponry to Ukraine and carrying out “provocative military exercises” in the Black Sea and near its borders.

The fear of an offensive

On November 28, Ukraine claims that Russia has around 92,000 troops on its borders, ready for an offensive in late January or early February. Moscow denies these accusations.

On December 1, Russian authorities accused Ukraine of deploying troops to the east of the country.

Biden-Putin Virtual Summit

On December 7, US President Joe Biden threatens Vladimir Putin with “serious economic sanctions” if he invades Ukraine, in a virtual bilateral summit.

The Russian president demands “legal guarantees” that Ukraine will not join NATO and reaffirms Russia’s right to “protect its security”.

On the 17th, Moscow presents two draft treaties to ban any NATO expansion and the establishment of US military bases in countries in the former Soviet orbit.

Washington then indicates that it is willing to launch a “diplomatic dialogue” with Putin, but calls some of the demands “inadmissible”.

On December 28, Moscow and Washington agree to a negotiation on security in Europe.

diplomatic week

On January 10, 2022, Russians and Americans begin tense negotiations in Geneva, the first stage of an intense diplomatic week.

On the 12th, NATO and Russia declare their “deep differences” on security in Europe, at the end of a bilateral council in Brussels.

Massive cyberattack in Ukraine

On January 14, several Ukrainian government portals are the target of a massive cyberattack, with no significant damage according to the authorities, who claim to have “evidence” of Russian involvement.

On the same day, Washington accuses Moscow of having sent “sabotage” operations to Ukraine to create a “pretext” for an invasion, in what the Kremlin describes as “gratuitous” statements.

Russian troops in Belarus

On the 18th, Moscow demands answers from the West to its demands before further negotiations.

Russia begins sending an unspecified number of troops to Belarus for “improvised” combat exercises on the borders of the EU and Ukraine.

Washington, worried about the possible deployment of Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus, warns that Moscow could attack Ukraine “at any moment”.

blinken in ukraine

On Wednesday, the head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, arrives in Kiev to show his support for Ukraine, as Washington announces another 200 million dollars in security assistance for Ukraine.

The Ukrainian government says it has not planned any offensive against pro-Russian separatists.

Blinken is scheduled to travel to Berlin on Thursday for talks with Germany, France and the UK.

The secretary of state, who warned on Wednesday that Washington will not respond in writing to Russian demands while negotiations continue, is due to meet with his colleague Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Friday.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Europe and NATO must build a “new security order” against Russia.

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