According to US intelligence, Mr Putin is believed to have ordered preparations for an invasion of Ukraine.
It comes as 11th hour talks continue behind the scenes in a desperate attempt to avert what could be the biggest war since 1945.
US intelligence now believes orders from Russia’s high command have been given to “conduct an invasion”, reports CBS.
Every effort is being made to try to prevent a potentially devastating attack that could kill millions after weeks of tension.
With some 200,000 troops – along with tanks, artillery and armored vehicles – surrounding Ukraine, the world is on a knife edge.
Putin is seen as the man whose ax is aimed squarely at Kyiv – and the West is urging him to step back from the brink.
“Intelligence indicates that the Russian military has now received orders to carry out the invasion,” CBS national security correspondent David Martin said in a statement. Face The Nation.
“They are not just moving closer and closer to the border into these attack positions.
“But commanders on the ground are planning specifically how they will maneuver in their battlefield areas.”
It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned it is “illogical” that Vladimir Putin is “heading towards disaster” and faces a “bloody” war if he invades Ukraine.
And meanwhile, President Emmanuel Macron announced he had made progress with Putin – saying Vlad had agreed to work towards a “ceasefire”.
Macron is said to have had a 105-minute conversation with Putin in which they agreed on the need for a “diplomatic solution”.
Mr Johnson has threatened to impose economic sanctions on Russia if it invades Ukraine – but says that “may not be enough” for warning that Russians have links to the President. Putin is integrating into the UK’s business and social scene.
“We’re making sure we open up the Russian doll of property ownership, corporate ownership, in London and see who’s behind everything,” he told The Sunday Morning Show. BBC One.
“And we have to do that and we have to hit very hard.”
He admitted “that might not be enough”, adding “it would be very dangerous and very difficult”, but “it may not be enough to deter an unreasonable actor”.
We have to accept at this point that Vladimir Putin may be thinking illogically about this and not seeing the disaster ahead.
“I think it’s important for all of us now to get through the disaster for Russia. I believe it’s going to be a bloody conflict.”
The prime minister urged Putin to “join a serious diplomatic conversation” now to avoid “the biggest war in Europe since 1945”.
Western nations have warned that Russia could invade Ukraine at any time – with its more than 190,000 troopsplus about 10,000 from the puppet state of Belarus, concentrated near the border.
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Putin has been accused of trying creating a fake crisis in a pro-Russian separatist region in eastern Ukraine to come up with a bogus excuse to attack.
It comes like Russian tanks, trucks and armored vehicles discovered all of which are smothered with a “Z” within six miles of Ukraine.
It is suspected that they have been assigned a specific – currently unclear – role in a possible imminent invasion of the former Soviet state.
Videos shot from near the border show markers on Russian tanks, self-propelled artillery, fuel tankers and supply vehicles.
Military equipment painted with a white “Z” was seen 6 to 25 miles from the border.
The independent Russian television channel Hunter’s Notes, which closely monitors military activities, has shown a selection of footage it has collected from the region.
“All of equipment [marked with ‘Z’] was seen near Kursk and in the Shebekino region of the Belgorod region,” the administrators said.
“Perhaps we are dealing with a certain group of troops that have their own missions and plans for the near future.”
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has warned Putin that he will face decades of “bloodshed and suffering” if his troops invade Ukraine.
Mr Johnson said an all-out attack by Russia will “reverberate throughout the world” – with dire consequences.
He predicted it would leave the Kremlin boss mired with crippling sanctions while fighting a “long and disgusting” war.
It comes like:
Mr. Johnson gives a clear message as President Putin in person monitor missile drills near Ukraine border.
In a powerful address to Western leaders, the Prime Minister warned that Russia’s military build-up created “high danger to the world”.
He told a security conference in Munich that there was “a grim omen” of the possibility invasion in the next few days. And he rallied Western partners to stay united against the threat because the stakes couldn’t be higher.
The shock waves of an invasion, he added, would lead other tyrants to conclude that “aggression comes at a cost.” Mr Johnson said: “If Ukraine is overwhelmed, we will see the destruction of a democratic state, a free country in a generation, with a proud electoral history.
“Every time Western ministers visit Kyiv, we have assured the Ukrainian people and their leaders that we are behind the four squares for their sovereignty and independence.
“How empty, meaningless, insulting those words would be if – at the very moment their sovereignty and independence were violated – we simply looked away. ”
Russia and Ukraine It’s gotten worse since Kyiv began drawing closer to the West – leading to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and provoking separatists to seize arms in Donbas in eastern Ukraine.
And all eyes are now on the relatively small area, currently controlled by two pro-Russian rebel groups, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR).
Shelling was reported across the region as Ukraine, Russia and the separatists pointed fingers at each other during clashes.
There were reports of shells falling within the Russian border, at least two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and loud explosions were heard throughout the Donbas.
Both separatist groups ordered mass evacuations on Friday as they allege Ukraine planning a large-scale attack – including accusing Kyiv of blowing up a chemical plant.
And now both have also announced the “full mobilization” of their military forces.
There is concern that Putin could use the growing turmoil in the Donbas as a reason to move his troops.
Western intelligence officials have repeatedly suggested that Vlad may be using a “false flag” – an attack or threat staged to give them an excuse to invade.
Russia has also made accusations of “genocide”, with Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claiming that life in Donbas is “hell” for ethnic Russians.
In a new suspected dangerous situation, pro-Moscow rebel authorities in Donetsk claim to have arrested a Ukrainian spy who allegedly confessed to Kyiv with the aim of attacking Donbas.
Named Anton Matsanyuk, he “confirmed that Kyiv intends to use all of his offensive power to forcibly capture Donbas,” one report said.
The alleged saboteur conveniently confirmed a scheme advertised by Russia in recent days of a plan to invade Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk.
Meanwhile, Mr Johnson warned that Russia was planning “the biggest war in Europe since 1945” as Mr. Putin intends to “invade and encircle Kyiv.”
When asked if he believes a Invasion of Russia Mr Johnson told the BBC: “I’m afraid that’s what the evidence shows, there’s nothing to blame.
“The reality is that all indications are that the plan has, in some ways, begun.”
NATO head Jens Stoltenberg said: “Every indication is that Russia is planning a full-scale attack against Ukraine.
“We all agree that the risk of an attack is very high.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/4731591/putin-orders-troops-to-invade-ukraine/ Putin orders military to prepare to INVEST in Ukraine as frenetic negotiations to prevent the biggest war since 1945 continue, US information says