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In early December 2021, Russia has significantly increased the number of troops stationed on its border with Ukraine to nearly 100,000, according to the New York Times. In 2014 Russia invaded and annexed the Ukrainian-held Crimean peninsula, and skirmishes between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists have continued in the Donbas region of Ukraine ever since, for which Russia has denied involvement. In December 2021 US President Joe Biden warned Russian President Vladmir Putin that If Ukraine were invaded, the US would respond with economic sanctions.