Amid growing tensions on the Russia-Ukraine border, a top US general has warned of "horrific" consequences of any armed conflict. General Mark Milley warned that any Russian action would result in a significant number of deaths. He said: "An invasion will not be cost-free in terms of casualties." General Milley told reporters that Russia's 100,000 troops on Ukraine's border was very worrying. He said: "This is larger in scale and scope in the massing of forces than anything we have seen in recent memory, and I think you'd have to go back quite a while into the Cold War days to see something of this magnitude." Russia says it has no plans to invade and says US support for Ukraine is the biggest threat.
Russia has accused the USA and NATO of being the aggressors in the latest tensions. It says it is unacceptable for US and NATO forces to be so close to Russia's borders. Moscow also called for Ukraine to be banned from joining NATO. The US said this request was untenable. NATO said Ukraine had the right to choose its own allies. Russia said NATO should end any military activity in Eastern Europe, and pull troops out of Poland and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. In addition, it called for NATO not to deploy missiles in countries near or bordering Russia. Ukraine's President Zelensky has accused the West of creating "panic" over a possible invasion.