Russia-Ukraine: Kamala Harris in Munich: Borders shouldn’t be ‘changed by force’: LIVE UPDATES

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Harris speaks in Munich: ‘National borders should not be changed by force;’ threatens sanctions

Vice President Kamala Harris in a speech early Saturday at the Munich Security Conference said the “foundation of European security is under direct threat in Ukraine.”

She reaffirmed the United States’ support for Ukraine, saying, “national borders should not be changed by force.”

She also accused Russia of “lies” and “propaganda” and said “significant and unprecedented economic” consequences would follow any potential invasion.

Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine declare military mobilization amid surge of violence

Russian-baked separatists in eastern Ukraine Saturday declared a full military mobilization amid a surge of violence in the region.

A day earlier women and children in the region had begun evacuating to southern Russia.

NATO allies are concerned Russia will use the violence there as a pretense to invade Ukraine.

Denis Pushilin, the head of the pro-Russia separatist government in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, released a statement announcing a full troop mobilization and urging reservists to show up at military enlistment offices. A similar announcement quickly followed from Leonid Pasechnik, separatist leader in the Luhansk region.

Pushilin cited “immediate threat of aggression” from Ukrainian forces, accusations that Ukrainian officials vehemently denied earlier.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ukrainian President to attend Munich security meeting

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky plans to attend the Munich Security Conference in Germany Saturday but will return to Ukraine hours later, his office confirmed, according to Reuters.

The White House and NATO allies have expressed concern that Russia could take advantage of Zelensky’s absence.

Zelensky is scheduled to meet with Vice President Kamala Harris in Munich.

President Biden told reporters Friday Zelensky’s trip to Munich “may not be a wise choice, but it’s his decision.”

“That’s a judgment for him to make,” the president said. “It’s in the pursuit of a diplomatic solution.”

Franklin Graham criticized for asking people to pray for Putin

Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham, was criticized by some on social media Friday after he asked people to pray for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Graham noted in his Twitter post that it sounded like a “strange” request, but “we need to pray that God would work in his heart so that war could be avoided at all cost. May God give wisdom to the leaders involved in these talks & negotiations, as well as those advising them.”

“Pray for the Ukrainian people!!!” one person commented while others noted Putin’s alleged atrocities.

Russia amasses up to 190K troops outside Ukraine, ‘Most significant’ in Europe since WWII, US says

Russia had amassed between 169,000 and 190,000 troops outside of Ukraine’s border by this week, Michael Carpenter, the U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said Friday, according to Reuters.

“This is the most significant military mobilization in Europe since the Second World War,” he said.

On Jan. 30, the estimates were closer to 100,000.

US, UK blame Moscow for cyberattacks on Ukraine

The White House blamed the Kremlin Friday for cyberattacks this week that targeted Ukraine’s defense ministry and major banks, warning that more attacks are likely ahead.

The attacks knocked government websites and a couple of major banks offline for much of the day. They were of “limited impact” since Ukrainian officials were able to quickly get their systems back up and running, Anne Neuberger, the Biden administration’s deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technologies, said.

“We do expect that should Russia decide to proceed with a further invasion of Ukraine, we may see further destabilizing or destructive cyber activity, and we’ve been working closely with allies and partners to ensure we’re prepared to call out that behavior and respond,” Neuberger said.

The British Foreign Office said the attack “showed a continued disregard for Ukrainian sovereignty. This activity is yet another example of Russia’s aggressive acts against Ukraine.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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