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putin: Vladimir Putin, Joe Biden begin high-stakes phone call on Ukraine crisis

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Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin have begun their closely watched call on Ukraine as the US warns that a Russian invasion of its neighbour may be imminent.

Their call began Saturday at 11:04 a.m. EST, the White House said.

US officials have warned anew that Russia’s buildup of offensive air, land and sea firepower near Ukraine has reached the point where it could invade on short notice.

A State Department travel advisory on Saturday said most American staff at the Kyiv embassy have been ordered to leave and other U.S. citizens should depart the country immediately as well.

Putin wanted the telephone call to take place on Monday, but Biden pushed for it to be held sooner as U.S. intelligence has picked up on what the White House has said are increasingly signs that Russia may soon invade Ukraine.

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