The U.S. has picked up intelligence showing that Russian military officials were given an order to go ahead with an invasion of Ukraine, a U.S. official and another person with knowledge of the matter told NBC News.
The intelligence, which was developed very recently, informed President Joe Biden’s startling declaration on Friday that the U.S. believes President Vladimir Putin has already decided to invade, the individuals said.
The U.S. then witnessed Russian military units taking steps to carry out the order in preparation for an invasion, further bolstering the assessment that Putin could strike at any time, they added.
“As of this moment, I’m convinced he’s made the decision. We have reason to believe that,” Biden said at the White House Friday. Asked how the U.S. knew, the president said only: “We have a significant intelligence capability.”
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