Russia has extended military drills near Ukraine's northern borders after two days of sustained shelling along the contact line between Ukrainian soldiers and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.
According to CBS on Sunday, the U.S. reportedly received intelligence that Russian commanders have been given orders to proceed with an invasion of Ukraine.
And as ABC News reported, U.S. officials said that lower-level Russian tactical commanders were given orders consistent with those to invade Ukraine.
Ukraine's president appealed for a cease-fire. The exercises in Belarus, which borders Ukraine to the north, originally were set to end on Sunday. The joint drills brought a sizable contingent of Russian forces to Belarus, and their presence raised concern that they could sweep down to Ukraine's capital in a Russian invasion.
A top European Union official said, "The big question remains: Does the Kremlin want dialogue?"
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris said Sunday in Munich, Germany, “We’re talking about the potential for war in Europe,” she said.
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Saturday that Russian President Vladimir Putin should choose a place where the two leaders could meet to try to resolve the crisis and on Sunday appealed for a cease-fire on Twitter. Russia has denied plans to invade, but the Kremlin had not responded to his offer by Sunday, and it was Belarus — not Russia — that announced the extension of the drills, the Associated Press reported.