With the risk of war looming larger, Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden held a high-stakes telephone call Saturday as a tense world watched and worried that an invasion of Ukraine could begin within days.
Before talking to Biden, Putin had a telephone call with French President Emmanuel Macron, who met with him in Moscow earlier in the week to try to resolve the biggest security crisis between Russia and the West since the Cold War. A Kremlin summary of the call suggested that little progress was made toward cooling down the tensions.
In a sign that American officials were getting ready for a worst-case scenario, the United States announced plans to evacuate its embassy in the Ukrainian capital, and Britain joined other European nations in urging its citizens to leave Ukraine.
Russia has massed well over 100,000 troops near the Ukraine border and has sent troops to exercises in neighboring Belarus, but denies that it intends to launch an offensive against Ukraine.
The timing of any possible Russian military action remained a key question.