“We’ve continued, including in the past 24 hours, to note the flow of additional capabilities from other parts of Russia toward the borders with Ukraine and Belarus,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told a news conference.
“We will not give specific numbers, but they continue to increase,” Kirby added, referring to the presence of “more than 100,000” soldiers now.
“We are also seeing indications that other combat groups are on their way,” the Pentagon spokesman added.
He stressed that Russian President Vladimir Putin “continues to strengthen his military capabilities … Every day he gives himself more options, every day he strengthens his capabilities, every day he continues to destabilize an already very tense situation.”
The spokesman noted that the United States had no intention of carrying out any operations in non-NATO Ukraine, while the vanguard of 3,000 American soldiers sent to “reassure” allies of the alliance’s eastern wing began to deploy in Poland and Romania.
John Kirby noted that it is possible that the US military would participate in relief operations if US citizens residing in Ukraine flock to the two countries in the event of a Russian invasion, but this may not be necessary.
The United States announced weeks ago that it does not intend to militarily evacuate Americans from Ukraine, as it did in Kabul last summer.
Washington accuses Moscow of preparing for a possible large-scale invasion of Ukraine in the near future, although US officials believe that Vladimir Putin has not yet made a decision on launching the invasion.
For his part, the French President met his Russian counterpart in Moscow on Monday, and then his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday in Kiev.
Emmanuel Macron confirmed that he had received pledges from the Russian President that there would be no further “escalation”, and Paris confirmed that this visit enabled “to move forward” to calm the situation.