Russia continues to deny any plan to attack Ukraine, despite positioning more than 100,000 troops near the border. The White House feels Russia could start the invasion by resorting to aerial bombing. If that does happen, it would lead to difficulties in travel and pose a danger to civilians trying to move out to safety.

Hence, the United States wants its citizens to leave Ukraine on priority. The instructions are clear. It has ordered non-essential staff to leave the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. There would be a suspension of consular services from Sunday.

However, there would be some sort of consular presence in Lviv. Its purpose would be "to handle emergencies."

The BBC says that in view of the United States stand, other countries are issuing fresh warnings to their nationals in Ukraine to leave. U.K. ambassador says she would stay in Kyiv with a core team. Russia, on its part, decided to "optimize" its diplomatic staff numbers in the country. It is doing this because it fears possible "provocations" by its opposition. The people of Ukraine conducted mock drills in Chernobyl in preparation for a Russian attack.

Attempts are on to de-escalate tensions on Ukraine through diplomacy

Top leaders like Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron are trying to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine through diplomacy.

However, Moscow continues to accuse Western countries of stirring up hysteria. U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan says Russia is in a position to launch military action. He went on to add that there is risk involved.

The Kremlin could justify its military action and launch attacks with aerial bombardment. That would throw lives into disarray.

The BBC explains the gradual build-up of Russian troops at the borders with Ukraine. Along with that, there will soon be Russian military exercises in the Black Sea.

They have already conducted drills in Crimea, and more such exercises will follow in Belarus. This is to the north of Ukraine. The U.S. president discussed the developments with transatlantic leaders via video call.

They agreed to impose economic consequences on Russia in case it invades Ukraine. The United States has kept its troops ready to tackle any possible incursion of Ukraine by Russia. The Kremlin does not want Ukraine to join NATO.

Increased military presence along the Ukraine border

According to France 24, satellite images reveal increased military presence along the borders with Ukraine. These are at strategic locations and it has prompted the United States and its allies to urge their citizens to travel out of the country. The authorities interpret the movement of troops as signs of an "imminent" threat of invasion by Russia.

The images show deployments of additional troops and military equipment in areas surrounding Ukraine.

These are at Crimea in the south, Belarus in the north, and a Russian training camp in the east.

Russian troops at the border a worry for Ukraine

In 2014, Russia annexed Crimea. At that time, there was the biggest deployment of Russian troops. The new images show massive troop deployments with tents and military vehicles. These are north of Simferopol, the capital of Crimea. There are armored vehicles near the town of Slavne near the coast.

France 24 says amphibious assault ships also arrived in the Black Sea. These appear to be ominous signs. The defense ministry of Russia defends the naval exercises. It explains - "The exercise aims to defend the coast of the Crimea peninsula." The leaders have to avoid direct confrontation because a war would mean the loss of lives on both sides. They must try to resolve the issues through dialogues.