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all eyes on ukraine

Amid Ukraine tensions, U.S. puts 8,500 troops on heightened alert

Military units stationed in the United States have been notified by the Pentagon that they should be ready to deploy to Europe should NATO send a request.

Russia has spent the last year moving tens of thousands of troops to the border with Ukraine, and the U.S. warns that an invasion could be imminent. The Pentagon has put about 8,500 troops on heightened alert, CBS News reports, and most would deploy as part of the NATO Response Force. Some could be sent to other countries in Eastern Europe to bolster security there, should matters escalate even further.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Monday that President Biden decided to put the troops on high alert after receiving advice from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley. "No decisions have been made to deploy any forces from the United States at this time," Kirby said. 

Kirby did not reveal which units are on alert, but did say that some have been ordered to be ready to deploy in as little as five days. He also told reporters that Russia has not shown any signs of deescalation, and instead has spent the last few weeks moving even more troops to its border with Ukraine and into Belarus.