The latest on the Ukraine-Russia border crisis

By Tara John, Lauren Said-Moorhouse, Aditi Sangal, Maureen Chowdhury, Melissa Macaya and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 7:09 AM ET, Tue February 15, 2022
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1:50 p.m. ET, February 14, 2022

Here's what Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty means for NATO allies

From CNN's Ivana Kottasová and Bryony Jones

Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty has been a key point of discussion among world leaders amid tensions between Ukraine and Russia.

Article 5 of the treaty is the principle of collective defense. It guarantees that the resources of the whole alliance can be used to protect any single member nation. This is crucial for many of the smaller countries who would be defenseless without its allies. Iceland, for example, has no standing army.

Since the US is the largest and most powerful North Atlantic Treaty Organization member, any state in the alliance is effectively under US protection.

According to the NATO website, this is what Article 5 lays out:

"The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.
Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security.”

In reality, the first and only time Article 5 has been invoked was in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US; as a result, NATO allies joined the invasion of Afghanistan.

However, NATO has taken action on other occasions too.

It put collective defense measures in place in 1991 when it deployed Patriot missiles during the Gulf War, in 2003 during the crisis in Iraq, and in 2012 in response to the situation in Syria, also with Patriot missiles.

All three were based on requests from Turkey.

Read more about NATO and Article 5 here.

1:05 p.m. ET, February 14, 2022

EU Parliament president: "The position of this house is clear, we are with Ukraine"  

From CNN’s James Frater in Brussels  

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola on Monday expressed support of the EU parliament to Ukraine amid warnings of a Russian invasion.

“The position of this house is clear, we are with Ukraine,” she said. 

She demanded that Ukraine's “defiance must be matched by continued European resolve and unity.” 

“What we are witnessing is a serious threat to peace in Europe,” she added.  

Metsola urged for a de-escalation of the current tension, but said the European parliament stands "ready to support swift, forceful and concrete action."

"We do this in coordination with other European institutions and the international community should the situation deteriorate," she added.

12:40 p.m. ET, February 14, 2022

US intelligence indicates Russia "clearly advancing their ability to invade"

From CNN's Barbara Starr and Natasha Bertrand

Multiple threads of Intelligence, including Russian communications, indicate Russian forces surrounding Ukraine are “clearly advancing their ability to invade,” at any time, according to a senior Administration official.  

“They are making themselves more ready.” This intelligence has led the US to conclude a Russian attack, including an assault on the capital city of Kyiv could begin with no warning, the official said.  

There are now an estimated 130,000 or more Russian forces on the Ukraine border, according to two sources familiar with recent assessments.

The US is not yet characterizing the Russian moves as “final preparations” because Putin still has time to order a stop to any military action the official said. NATO defense ministers are meeting in Brussels Wednesday and Thursday and right now the US cannot rule out Russia military action during that ministerial the official said. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is expected to attend that meeting in person.

12:20 p.m. ET, February 14, 2022

UK prime minister urges Putin to step back from "edge of a precipice"

From CNN’s Claudia Rebaza in London 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to step back from the “edge of a precipice" over the Ukraine crisis, adding there is still time for the Russian leader to do so.   

“We are on an edge of a precipice but there is still time for President Putin to step back. We're urging everybody to engage in dialogue and for the Russian government to avoid what would be a disastrous mistake for Russia,” Johnson tweeted.  

Read his tweet:

12:31 p.m. ET, February 14, 2022

Ukraine’s "strategic course on joining NATO remains unchanged," foreign minister says

From CNN’s Fred Pleitgen

Members of Ukraine's National Guard ride through the city of Kyiv, on February 14, 2022.
Members of Ukraine's National Guard ride through the city of Kyiv, on February 14, 2022. (Emilio Morenatti/AP)

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has affirmed Ukraine’s course toward joining NATO “remains unchanged” in a tweet Monday.

Kuleba said, “Ukraine’s strategic course on joining NATO remains unchanged. It is enshrined in our Constitution and National Foreign Policy Strategy, supported by a growing majority of Ukrainians. It’s only up to Ukraine and thirty NATO allies to decide on the issue of membership.”

It follows Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry walking back comments its UK ambassador made on Sunday, who suggested that Ukraine might consider not seeking to join NATO in an effort to prevent war with Russia.

 

12:16 p.m. ET, February 14, 2022

Ukraine's National Police increase street patrols and critical infrastructure protection

From CNN’s Paul Murphy and Josh Pennington

Ukraine’s National Police are entering a so-called “enhanced mode” to “ensure security and preparedness,” according to an update from the head of the National Police Igor Klimenko. 

In a Facebook post on Monday, Klimenko said from Monday until this Saturday, the National Police of Ukraine have entered "enhanced" mode. He said this results in an increased number of patrols to ensure public safety and order on the streets; the deployment of additional “situational centers” for 24-hour monitoring; and securing protection for critical infrastructure, public authorities and local governments.

Klimenko said the rationale for the enhanced mode is to “provide a more efficacious response to public safety threats.” He added, “This stricter police regime should not be cause for alarm. It is necessary to ensure security and preparedness. We protect, not panic!”

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine also announced the period of “enhanced mode” for the country’s National Police on its Facebook page Monday.

12:09 p.m. ET, February 14, 2022

US secretary of state says allies are committed "to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine"

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke on Monday with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba to stress the US and its allies’ “commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including its economic and financial stability,” according to a readout from the State Department.

“The Secretary highlighted that, although the United States’ immediate priority is to support efforts to de-escalate the situation, any further military aggression by Russia against Ukraine will be met with a swift, coordinated, and forceful response,” the readout said.

Their call comes a day after President Joe Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and amid warnings that Russia could invade Ukraine at any moment. Blinken and Kuleba have spoken twice in three days.

12:31 p.m. ET, February 14, 2022

Ukrainians prepare for an invasion even though they don’t think it's imminent

From CNN's Ivana Kottasová in Kyiv

A woman walks past the Wall of Remembrance in front of St. Michael's Monastery on February 1, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.
A woman walks past the Wall of Remembrance in front of St. Michael's Monastery on February 1, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Kyiv's St. Michael's Monastery looked particularly spectacular on Monday — its golden dome sparkling in the bright winter sun. It was hard to think about a war amid all that beauty.

For most Ukrainians though, the thought of a potential war is never too far away. It’s been on their minds for eight years now, ever since Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014. Now, it’s just getting a bit more real.

“This feeling, it’s something new. Previously, we didn't feel such tension and a real danger. We had conflicts, but there wasn’t a real danger for Kyiv,” Taras Samchuk, a 32-year old historian, told CNN. “It was a small conflict, two groups, Ukrainian army, Russian army — or separatists — but now, it’s 100,000 soldiers near our borders and a lot of rockers … so I suppose we should be prepared. Just in case."

Samchuk said he doesn’t think there will be an attack, but still wants to be prepared. Out of caution, he and his wife are also hosting her sister for a few days.

“Just in case something happens. It's hard to cover even 15 kilometres in the city," he said.

His parents, born and raised during the Soviet era, don’t think it’s necessary.

“Our parents say that nothing will happen, not to be afraid. Because it's Russians, they are just trying the typical tactics of Soviet politicians or late Russian Empire times, late 19th century, just to show the power, saying that in two days they will be in Kyiv,” he said.

Meanwhile, 20-year-old Andriy Krachevskiy said he is worried how the tensions may impact Ukraine's economic tensions, but he is convinced there won’t be a war.

“Not in the next few months, for sure,” he said.

His parents live near Mariupol, in a Ukraine-controlled territory in Donbas which is a region now partly held by the separatists. He said they too haven’t noticed much change in recent weeks despite all the headlines about escalations, and are not thinking about leaving the area. “They are where they want to be."

Andriy Krachevskiy, 20, doesn't believe there could be an invasion — at least not in the next few months.
Andriy Krachevskiy, 20, doesn't believe there could be an invasion — at least not in the next few months. Credit: Ivana Kottasová

The idea that a Russian invasion might be "imminent" seems almost far-fetched in the streets of the Ukrainian capital — a buzzing European city where people are going on about their business. The public transport system remains busy, shops are well stocked and open, and restaurants are still inviting guests in. But while nothing seems out of the ordinary, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko is drawing up contingency plans including shelters, evacuation procedures and maintaining communications.

Miroslava Grigorieva, 53, told CNN she wasn’t even willing to let herself worry about a war that may or may not happen. She said she’s been avoiding the news, focusing on staying optimistic and calm.

“What we see in the media, it’s all political and I don’t want to internalize it, so I am not listening to it,” Grigorieva told CNN. “An average Ukrainian, and an average Russian, we all want peace, everybody wants peace ... We want mutual respect and to be able to communicate normally."

Miroslava Grigorieva with her daughter.
Miroslava Grigorieva with her daughter. Credit: Ivana Kottasová

10:47 a.m. ET, February 14, 2022

President Biden will speak with UK prime minister today

From CNN's Jasmine Wright

President Biden is expected to speak with UK's Boris Johnson around 12:30 pm ET Monday amid escalating tensions in Ukraine, a White House official confirms to CNN.

Over the weekend, Biden had a roughly hour-long phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin and he warned him that the US and its allies will respond "decisively and impose swift and severe costs" on Russia should Putin decide to invade Ukraine.

A senior administration official told reporters Saturday afternoon that the call between the two presidents was "professional and substantive," but "there was no fundamental change in the dynamic that has been unfolding now for several weeks."

The official said that Biden reiterated the US' ideas on how to enhance European security while also addressing some of Russia's security concerns, but noted that it "remains unclear whether Russia is interested in pursuing its goals diplomatically."

CNN's Natasha Bertrand, Maegan Vazquez and Donald Judd contributed reporting to this post.