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Ukraine: What We Know

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The latest developments in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine:

— Russia sent two long-range, nuclear-capable bombers to train with Su-30SM fighter jets from the Russian and Belarusian air forces. The training lasted four hours, and it was the third mission of its kind in the last month.

— The first American troops arrived Saturday in Poland to reinforce NATO allies in Eastern Europe, Poland’s Defense Ministry said. U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday ordered the deployment of 1,700 soldiers to Poland and other troops to Romania and Germany.

— French President Emmanuel Macron is scheduled to visit Moscow on Monday and Kyiv on Tuesday. The following week, Germany’s Olaf Scholz is set to visit Kyiv on Feb. 14 and Moscow on Feb. 15. They will speak with their counterparts about diplomatic measures to ease the growing tensions surrounding Moscow’s potential invasion of Ukraine.

— Chinese President Xi Jinping has endorsed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demands to end NATO expansion and get security guarantees from the West. These issues have led to Russia’s standoff with the United States and its allies over the crisis in Ukraine. The leaders, meeting Friday in Beijing, also proclaimed a new strategic “friendship.”

— White House press secretary Jen Psaki dismissed the meeting between the Russian and Chinese leaders, telling reporters in Washington, “What we have control over is our own relationships and the protection of our own values and also looking for ways to work with countries even where we disagree.”

— The West is demanding that Russia pull its troops and weapons from the Ukraine border, while Moscow is pushing for NATO to curtail its operations in Eastern and central Europe. Russia also maintains that the Western defensive alliance should reject Ukraine’s membership bid, a move the United States calls a “nonstarter.”

— According to U.S. and Ukrainian estimates, Russia has massed about 127,000 troops along its border with Ukraine, including in Belarus and occupied Crimea.

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

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