New intel adds to US fears of Russia readying for military action

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Originally Published: 20 FEB 22 15:54 ET
Updated: 20 FEB 22 16:08 ET

(CNN) — The US has intelligence indicating orders have been sent to Russian commanders to proceed with an attack on Ukraine, according to two US officials and another source familiar with the US intelligence.

The intelligence regarding the order to tactical commanders and intelligence operatives is one of several indicators the US is watching to assess if Russian preparations have entered their final stages for a potential invasion.

Other indicators, such as electronic jamming and widespread cyberattacks, have not yet been observed, according to some of the sources. The sources cautioned that orders can always be withdrawn or that it could be misinformation meant to confuse and mislead the US and allies.

But the news of the intelligence comes after President Biden said on Friday that he believes Putin has “made the decision” to invade — a comment echoed by Vice President Kamala Harris and by Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday. Blinken said the Russian playbook is “moving forward.”

“We believe President Putin has made the decision,” Blinken said Sunday in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

He continued: “But until the tanks are actually rolling and the planes are flying, we will use every opportunity and every minute we have to see if diplomacy can still dissuade President Putin from carrying this forward.”

The Washington Post first reported on the orders going to commanders.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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