US considering sending missiles to Ukraine, as Russia amasses 100,000 troops on border

Jamie Johnson
·2-min read
A Ukrainian serviceman stands next to a Ukrainian tank destroyed in 2014 by Russia backed separatists, on the front line near the small town of Pisky, Donetsk region - ALEKSEY FILIPPOV/AFP via Getty Images
A Ukrainian serviceman stands next to a Ukrainian tank destroyed in 2014 by Russia backed separatists, on the front line near the small town of Pisky, Donetsk region - ALEKSEY FILIPPOV/AFP via Getty Images

The United States is considering sending missiles and other weapons to Ukraine, amid a buildup of more than 100,000 Russian troops along its eastern border and fears of an impending invasion.

Shipments of military aid have been discussed by Joe Biden’s administration, and could include anti-tank, anti-ship and anti-aircraft systems according to the Wall Street Journal.

Officials in Kyiv have asked for help after Russia’s increasingly bullish behaviour, which has included the largest troop buildup in the region for nearly a decade, intruding into European airspace and restricting the movement of foreign ships in the area.

Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns told Congress last week: “That buildup has reached the point where it could also provide the basis for a limited military incursion.

“It’s something not only the United States, but also our allies have to take very seriously.”

Watch: Ukraine leader Zelensky urges Putin to meet in war-torn east

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky invited Russian leader Vladimir Putin to meet in war-torn eastern Ukraine on Tuesday, stressing that millions of lives were at stake from fresh fighting in the separatist conflict.

The offer for talks came following a flare-up in clashes between Ukraine's army and pro-Russian separatists controlling two regions in the country's east, raising concerns of a major escalation in the simmering war.

The Ukrainian president, elected in 2019 on promises to bring an end to the conflict, accused Russia of participating in peace negotiations while massing troops on Ukraine's border.

"A considerable number of Russian troops are concentrated near our border," he said. 

"Officially, Russia calls this military exercises. Unofficially, the whole world calls this blackmail.

Mr Biden is under pressure to act, but does not want to provoke Russia, scrapping plans to send two Navy destroyers to the Black Sea earlier this month.

Tensions between the US and Russia remain high.

On Tuesday, US ambassador John Sullivan was recalled from Moscow after the Russian government recommended he leave the country.

Last month, Russia recalled its ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, after Mr Biden called Mr Putin “a killer.”

Mr Biden has not signed off on any new requests for assistance and deliberations are still in their early stages, Politico reported.

He could instead choose to impose further economic sanctions on the country.

Watch: Navalny's wife shows up to support protesters in Moscow