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US Winter Olympics 2018 medal winners

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From the only triple axel landed by a female American skater at the Olympics to the USA’s first men’s single medal in luge at the Games, U.S. athletes are making history in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Athletes from 92 nations are fiercely competing for a chance to stand on those coveted Olympic podiums in Pyeongchang, South Korea. There are 15 different sporting activities and a total of 102 events.

Team USA already has 21 Olympic medals. Here’s a look at the winning Olympians.

Gold

Jamie Anderson, women’s snowboard slopestyle

Medals Ceremony - Snowboarding - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Slopestyle - Medals Plaza - Pyeongchang, South Korea - February 12, 2018 - Gold medallist Jamie Anderson of the U.S. on the podium. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard - DEVEE2C0TN87D

Jamie Anderson won her second Olympic gold medal during the women’s snowboard slopestyle event at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

 (Reuters/Eric Gaillard)

Team USA’s Jamie Anderson took home the gold in the 2018 Winter Games after she performed in less-than-perfect weather conditions.

“I was trying to keep the spirits high, like, ‘Let’s run it,'” the 27-year-old athlete said, according to the Associated Press. “A handful of the girls were like, ‘No, it’s not safe,’ and things like that. It’s not like what we’re doing is safe, anyhow.”

Jessica Diggins and Kikkan Randall, women’s cross-country skiing 

Cross-Country Skiing - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Team Sprint Free Finals - Alpensia Cross-Country Skiing Centre - Pyeongchang, South Korea - February 21, 2018 -  Jessica Diggins and Kikkan Randall of the U.S. celebrate. REUTERS/Carlos Barria - DEVEE2L0T2AC6

Jessica Diggins and Kikkan Randall made history by winning the United States’ first women’s cross-country skiing medal – and it was gold.

 (Reuters/Carlos Barria)

The U.S. women’s cross country team won its first ever medal – and it was gold.

Led by Jessica Diggins and Kikkan Randall, the women’s team pulled off a huge upset and won the Olympic event, beating out the Swedes and Norwegians.

The women’s historic win comes more than 40 years after Bill Koch won the only other Olympic medal in cross-country skiing – silver. 

Red Gerard, men’s snowboard slopestyle

Red Gerard, of the United States, smiles after winning gold in the men's slopestyle final at Phoenix Snow Park at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Red Gerard, of the United States, smiles after winning gold in the men’s slopestyle final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

 (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

The conditions for the men’s snowboard slopestyle were less than ideal, but 17-year-old Red Gerard made it through the swirling winds to capture the United States’ first gold medal of the 2018 Olympics.

Gerard reportedly overslept before his event because he stayed up too late watching Netflix and had to borrow his roommate’s jacket when he couldn’t find his own. Still, Gerard, the underdog, overcame the odds and made it to the top of the podium with a score of 87.16.

Chloe Kim, women’s snowboard halfpipe

Snowboarding - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Halfpipe Finals - Phoenix Snow Park - Pyeongchang, South Korea - February 13, 2018 - Chloe Kim of the U.S. celebrates her win. REUTERS/Jorge Silva - DEVEE2D07MRXT

Chloe Kim of the U.S. celebrates after she became the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding gold medal.

 (Reuters/Jorge Silva)

At 17, Chloe Kim became the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding gold medal during the Winter Games. Kim dominated two amazing runs on the women’s snowboard halfpipe, earning her the first place spot on the medal podium.

Kim’s Olympic dreams were realized with a special family member cheering her on in person – her South Korean grandmother. Kim’s parents emigrated to the U.S. from South Korea, making her Olympic debut in Pyeongchang all the more special.

Mikaela Shiffrin, women’s giant slalom

Mikaela Shiffrin, of the United States, celebrate her gold medal during the venue ceremony at the Women's Giant Slalom at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Mikaela Shiffrin celebrates her gold medal after placing first in the women’s giant slalom at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

 (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Mikaela Shiffrin trailed the competition after her first ride down the slope but powered through her final run to take the top time and win the women’s giant slalom, her second career Olympic gold medal.

The 22-year-old won her first gold medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in the women’s slalom. 

David Wise, men’s halfpipe

Gold medal winner David Wise, of the United States, reacts to his run during the men's halfpipe final at Phoenix Snow Park at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Gold medal winner David Wise, of the United States, reacts to his run during the men’s halfpipe final.

 (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

With the most technically precise run ever seen in the sport of halfpipe skiing, David Wise won the gold for the U.S. He scored a 97.2 in the event, beating out his American counterpart.

Four years ago, Wise won gold on the halfpipe in the Sochi Olympics. 

Shaun White, men’s snowboard halfpipe

Medals Ceremony - Snowboarding - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Men's Halfpipe - Medals Plaza - Pyeongchang, South Korea - February 14, 2018 - Gold medallst Shaun White of the U.S. on the podium. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard - DEVEE2E0VDI2Q

Gold medallst Shaun White of the U.S. on the podium.

 (Reuters/Eric Gaillard)

Winning his third Olympic gold medal, snowboarder Shaun White made history in the 2018 Games as he scored America’s 100th Winter Games gold medal.

“The Flying Tomato” is the first American male to win gold in three different Winter Games as well; he won his previous two medals in Turin in 2006 and Vancouver in 2010.

White, 31, had a near perfect score of 97.75 on his final run on the halfpipe. He started off strong on his first run, but fell on his second of three attempts.

Team USA, women’s hockey

Untied States hockey team celebrate with their gold medals after beating Canada in the women's gold medal hockey game at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The United States hockey team celebrate with their gold medals after beating Canada in the women’s gold medal hockey game at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

 (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

In a dramatic shootout, the United States women’s hockey team defeated rival Canada 3-2 to win their first gold medal since 1998.

American Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson broke the deadlock in the shootout’s sixth round and goalie Maddie Rooney stuffed the last two Canadian shooters to clinch the victory.

Silver

Jamie Anderson, women’s snowboarding big air

Jamie Anderson, of the United States, watches during the women's Big Air snowboard final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Jamie Anderson won silver during the women’s big air snowboarding event.

 (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Her second medal win of the Games, Jamie Anderson clinched a silver medal during the big air event in the second week of the Games. The Team USA snowboarder was in first place until Austria’s Anna Gasser’s final run.

The silver is Anderson’s third Olympic medal.

Alex Ferreira, men’s halfpipe

Silver medalist in the men's halfpipe Alex Ferreira, of the United States, poses during the medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Silver medalist in the men’s halfpipe Alex Ferreira, of the United States, poses during the medals ceremony.

 (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Coming in behind his American teammate, Alex Ferreira won silver in the Olympic men’s halfpipe event. He had led in the event after the first two runs, but was unable to beat David Wise’s third run score.

Ahead of the Olympics, Ferreira and Wise got matching tattoos of the Pyeongchang Games logo.

Lauren Gibbs and Elana Meyers Taylor, women’s bobsled

Driver Elana Meyers Taylor, left, and Lauren Gibbs, right, of the United States celebrate winning the silver medal during the women's two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

Driver Elana Meyers Taylor, left, and Lauren Gibbs, right, of the United States won silver in women’s bobsled.

 (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

Driver Elana Meyers Taylor and brakeman Lauren Gibbs took silver in women’s bobsled — coming in second to Germany’s Mariama Jamanka and Lisa Buckwitz. 

It was Meyers Taylor’s third Olympic medal: she nabbed silver at the 2014 Games in Sochi and bronze at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. 

Jamanka and Buckwitz, her brakeman, finished their four runs in 3 minutes, 22.45 seconds. Meyers Taylor and Gibbs were second in 3:22.52, the 0.07-second margin is the closest between first and second in any Olympic women’s bobsled race.

Nick Goepper, men’s freestyle skiing slopestyle

Silver medalist in the men's slopestyle Nick Goepper, of the United States, poses during the medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Nick Goepper took silver in the men’s freestyle skiing slopestyle event.

 (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Nick Goepper added a silver medal to the bronze he won four years ago in Sochi. Goepper, now 23, fought depression and went to rehab in the wake of those Games, USA Today reported. 

“I came to this Olympics wanting a different color, wanting the gold, but coming away with the silver is so thrilling,” he said while speaking to ABC News. “I couldn’t be more stoked.”

Norwegian skiier Oystein Braaten and Canadian skiier Alex Beaulieu-Marchand won the gold and bronze medals, respectively. 

John-Henry Krueger, men’s 1,000-meter short-track speedskating

John-Henry Krueger of the United States reacts a he crosses the finish line to win a the silver medal in the men's 1000 meters short track speedskating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

John-Henry Krueger took silver in the men’s 1,000-meter short-track speedskating event.

 (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

John-Henry Krueger, 22, took silver in the men’s 1,000-meter short-track speedskating event. His win marks the first U.S. speedskating medal of the Pyeongchang Olympics. 

Krueger finished second behind Canada’s Samuel Girard. 

“There were so many thoughts rushing through my head,” Krueger said after medaling. 

Krueger’s win comes four years after he was forced to withdraw from the U.S. Olympic trials because he came down with swine flu.

Chris Mazdzer, men’s luge

Luge – Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics – Men’s Singles Competition – Olympic Sliding Centre - Pyeongchang, South Korea – February 11, 2018 - Chris Mazdzer of the U.S celebrates second place. REUTERS/Edgar Su - DEVEE2B12ALUR

Olympian Chris Mazdzer made history for Team USA with his second place finish in the men’s luge event.

 (Reuters/Edgar Su)

Coming in second place, Chris Mazdzer, 29, brought home USA luge’s first men’s single medal in history. He’s also the first non-European athlete to win an Olympic medal in the event.

Mazdzer competed in both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics, placing outside of the top 10.

Americans have been second in doubles luge twice.

Mikaela Shiffrin, women’s Alpine combined

United States' Mikaela Shiffrin smiles after competing in the women's combined slalom at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Jeongseon, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

The United States’ Mikaela Shiffrin smiles after competing in the women’s combined slalom at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

 (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Mikaela Shiffrin notched her second medal of the 2018 Games, taking home the silver in the women’s Alpine combined. The 22-year-old finished behind Switzerland’s Michelle Gisin.

Shiffrin captured a gold medal in the giant slalom earlier in the Olympic Games, taking her career total to three.

Bronze

Arielle Gold, women’s snowboard halfpipe

Snowboarding - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Halfpipe Finals - Phoenix Snow Park - Pyeongchang, South Korea - February 13, 2018 - Arielle Gold of the U.S. reacts after her final run. REUTERS/Jorge Silva - DEVEE2D06DLUP

Despite a dislocated shoulder, snowboarder Arielle Gold came in third place in the women’s halfpipe snowboard competition in the Winter Games.

 (Reuters/Jorge Silva)

Despite a dislocated shoulder, Arielle Gold earned the bronze medal for the United States in the women’s snowboard halfpipe competition – joining her teammate Chloe Kim on the podium.

Gold, 21, similarly injured her shoulder ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, causing her to miss the Sochi games.

Maia and Alex Shibutani, ice dance figure skating

Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the United States celebrate during the venue ceremony after winning the bronze medal in the ice dance, free dance figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani won the bronze medal in the free dance figure skating competition.

 (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

American siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani, affectionately known as the Shib Sibs, took home the bronze medal after a near-flawless ice dance free skate, racking up 192.59 points. Canada finished with gold and France with silver.

The Shibutanis squeaked out the bronze finish over teammates Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohuse by just five points.

Brita Sigourney, women’s freestyle skiing halfpipe

Brita Sigourney, of the United States, celebrates after winning the bronze medal in the women's halfpipe final at Phoenix Snow Park at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Brita Sigourney celebrates after winning the bronze medal in the women’s halfpipe final.

 (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Brita Sigourney entered the Olympics as one of the top-ranked women skiers and was able to edge out teammate Annalisa Drew for the bronze medal in the freestyle halfpipe.

Canada’s Cassie Sharpe won the gold, and France’s Marie Martinod won the silver.

Lindsey Vonn, women’s downhill skiing

Bronze medal winner Lindsey Vonn, of the United States, celebrates during the flower ceremony for the women's downhill at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Jeongseon, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Bronze medal winner Lindsey Vonn celebrates during the flower ceremony for the women’s downhill at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

 (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

In what was likely her final Olympic downhill run, Lindsey Vonn took home the bronze medal in women’s downhill skiing. The 33-year-old became the oldest female medalist in Alpine skiing at the Winter Games.

“If you think what’s happened over the last eight years and what I’ve been through to get here, I gave it all and to come away with a medal is a dream come true,” Vonn, who missed the 2014 Sochi Games after tearing ligaments in her right knee, said. “You’ve got to put things into perspective. Of course, I’d have loved a gold medal but, honestly, this is amazing and I’m so proud.”

Vonn finished third behind Italy’s Sofia Goggia and Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway, who took home the gold and silver, respectively.

Team USA, figure skating team event

Mirai Nagasu of the United States celebrates after her performance in the ladies single skating free skating in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Mirai Nagasu of the United States celebrates after her performance in the women’s free skate during the team competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics. She became the first American woman to land the triple axel in the Olympics.

 (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

The United States’ figure skating team won the bronze medal – thanks in part to flawless performances from Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu.

Nagasu became the first American woman to land a triple axel in the Olympics. Rippon landed both of his triple axels.

Siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani also propelled Team USA to the podium with their free dance. Teammates Alexa Scimeca-Knierim, Chris Knierim, Nathan Chen and Bradie Tennell also medaled following the event.

Team USA, women’s speedskating team pursuit

Bronze medalist team U.S.A. with Carlijn Schoutens, Mia Manganello, Brittany Bowe and Heather Bergsma, from left to right, celebrate after the women's team pursuit speedskating race at the Gangneung Oval at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Americans Heather Bergsma, Brittany Bowe, Mia Manganello and Carlijn Schoutens took bronze for the women’s team pursuit event.

 (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Heather Bergsma, Brittany Bowe, Mia Manganello and Carlijn Schoutens took bronze for women’s team pursuit. It was Team USA’s first Olympic medal in the event since it began in 2006.

Bergsma, Bowe and Manganello defeated Canada to clinch the medal in a B final.

Fox News’ Nicole Darrah, Ryan Gaydos, Stephen Sorace, Zoe Szathmary and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @K_Schallhorn.



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St Vincent volcano: Around 16,000 people flee communities after eruption of La Soufriere | World News

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About 16,000 people have had to flee their ash-covered communities after a volcano erupted on the Caribbean island of St Vincent.

The eruption of La Soufriere on Friday has transformed the island’s usual lush towns and villages into a gloomy, grey landscape.

It was the 4,000-ft volcano’s first major eruption since 1979.

Thousands have had to flee their homes since the eruption
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Thousands have had to flee their homes since the eruption

Thousands of residents have had to evacuate their homes and seek shelter with as many belongings as they could stuffed into suitcases and backpacks.

It comes after a strong sulphur smell was unavoidable on Saturday as ash blanketed large parts of the island.

There have been no reports of anyone being killed or injured by the initial blast or those that followed.

The volcano erupted on Friday
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The volcano erupted on Friday
Roads on the island are covered in ash
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Roads on the island are covered in ash

The had government ordered people to evacuate the most high-risk area around the volcano before the eruption after scientists warned that magma was moving close to the surface.

Government authorities delivered water, food and supplies to the shelters where many had fled to.

The island’s international airport remained blanketed in ash and smoke on Saturday making the runway barely visible.

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Western Australian towns evacuated after tropical cyclone barrels down with 100mph winds | World News

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A tropical cyclone has hit the western coast of Australia with winds of more than 100mph (170km) and much of the area put on “red alert”.

A spokesman for the Bureau of Meteorology, Todd Smith, said cyclone Seroja was now at category two but had reached “category three cyclone intensity” with damaging winds which would continue into the night.

Emergency services opened shelters in preparation for the high winds and coastal flooding.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) said in a bulletin: “There is a possible threat to lives and homes.

A police officer stands amid the rubble of buildings during a search for victims at a flood-affected village in Ile Ape on Lembata Island, East Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia, Thursday, April 8, 2021. Multiple disasters triggered by Tropical Cyclone Seroja in eastern Indonesia and neighboring East Timor have left a number of people dead or missing. (AP Photo/Ricko Wawo)
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Tropical Cyclone Seroja caused a severe downpour in Indonesia a week ago, killing at least 174 people and leaving 48 still missing

“You need to take action and get ready to shelter.”

The DFES has so far put five coastal towns on “red alert”.

Some towns north of Perth were evacuated while sandbags were being made available to residents further down the coast.

A category three classification can see wind speeds of up to 170mph (224km).

After touching down on the north western town of Geraldton (124 miles/200km north of Perth) and dumping more than 10cm of rain in just two hours, tropical cyclone Seroja headed inland, lessening slightly in intensity.

However, officials were still braced for a “high degree of damage” to buildings in the area.

A spokesman for the Western Australia emergency services department explained that buildings were not constructed to withstand such strong winds in a region as it typically too far south to fall into the path of cyclones.



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Russia: Inside the Kremlin’s military build-up along the Ukraine border | World News

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At the Maslovka railway station just south of the Russian city of Voronezh, there’s a small military camp, a few trucks and a tent.

The clearing in front is rutted thanks to the steady unloading of military equipment in recent weeks.

A soldier recognises us from the day before.

“Hello spies,” he said.

Rutted ground at the railway station at Maslovka, near Voronezh
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The unloading of equipment at the railway station has left the ground rutted

Russia’s military build-up in Crimea and along the border with Ukraine has hardly been subtle.

It has coincided with the breakdown of the latest ceasefire in the simmering conflict between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

More and more videos have appeared on social media of Russian troop movements – artillery convoys along the bridge connecting Russia with Crimea; trains loaded with weaponry coming from as far east as Siberia.

These sightings from ordinary Russians alongside warnings from Ukrainian generals preceded the Russian military’s announcement of exercises in the region and sent alarm bells ringing across Western capitals.

The kit unloaded at Maslovka is headed to a nearby training ground, which has been turned into a huge military field camp.

Magnay submitted - field camp near Voronezh
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Russian forces have created a military field camp near the city of Voronezh

It stretches for around a mile and a half and backs right onto a neighbourhood of dachas, the weekend homes of mostly Voronezh city-folk who tell us the build-up began in late March.

We accidentally drive right in, though the soldiers make no effort to come after us.

There are a large number of military trucks, row after row of tents, troops milling about.

The sign at the entrance is one that most Russian conscripts remember from military service – “Difficult on exercise, easier in the fight”.

The site was first identified through open source methods by the Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) in Moscow.

“It looks more like preparing for an offensive operation, not just to protect our land,” CIT’s Ruslan Leviev told us in Moscow.

But he does not believe it’s a prelude to war.

“It looks like a show of force to put pressure on the Ukrainian government, to show your posture on the international stage, to show your position to the new American administration.”

field camp near Voronezh
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The military build-up has hardly been subtle

Locals pottering around their dachas hardly spare a thought for the military build-up next door.

“If Zelensky (the Ukrainian president) isn’t a fool, then nothing will happen. If he is a fool, anything could happen,” said Nina, a pensioner who we meet watering her garden.

“‘Anyway, it’s not him who decides things, it’s the Americans.”

She does not want to give her surname.

“I hope I haven’t revealed any military secrets,” she added.

“There are always exercises here, every summer,” said Yuri, a local guard.

“Stop all this talk of war.”

But there are not exercises on this scale.

Neither here nor elsewhere along Russia’s border with Ukraine.

field camp near Voronezh
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Western calls to de-escalate the situation appear to have been ignored

Not since the annexation of Crimea has Russia beefed up its presence there to this extent, re-deploying an air brigade from near the Estonian border and sending 10 naval vessels from the Caspian to reinforce the Black Sea fleet.

In response, the US has announced it will send two warships into the Black Sea.

The German chancellor asked Vladimir Putin this week to wind down the military build-up.

This Sunday after consultations with his US counterpart, Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab tweeted the same.

It does not appear to be happening.

The Russian position is clear. What happens on Russian soil is Russia’s business.

It is hard to argue with that.

But ostentatious muscle-flexing around Ukraine is not an option for the West to ignore – the stakes are too high, they are for all involved.

Ukraine’s leader Volodymyr Zelensky may clamour for fast-track NATO membership but he will not get it.

For all their loud protestations over NATO’s possible eastward-creep, the Kremlin knows that.

US President Joe Biden may declare his unwavering support for Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty and integrity but he will be wary of walking anywhere near potential conflict with Russia.

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Ukraine president visits Donbas region amid tensions

And surrounded as he is by Russian forces, president Zelensky knows re-taking the country’s eastern Donbas region, parts of which are held by separatists, is wishful thinking as is any large-scale fight with his powerful neighbour to the East.

It is of course hard to know what Russia is playing at but they seem to be eyeing the long game.

Coercive diplomacy to extract concessions in negotiations on Donbas, a powerful display of military muscle for the new US administration to take note of while the de facto annexation of the separatist regions of Ukraine chugs along apace.

field camp near Voronezh
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Russia seem to be eyeing the long game

According to Russian state news agency Ria Novosti, 420,000 people in the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics have already received Russian passports.

Russia is aiming for one million by parliamentary elections this September.

“It’s unifying their legislation with the Russian one, it’s providing them with the Russian vaccine, it’s providing them with passports. It doesn’t mean Russia wants to annex them,” said Maxim Samorukov from the Moscow Carnegie Institute.

“At least in the near future,” he added.

It also provides quite the justification for full-scale intervention should Russia’s calculus change.

field camp near Voronezh
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The Kremlin is sending a message to Ukraine and the wider international community

President Putin has said allowing Ukrainian troops along Russia’s border with the separatist regions could lead to a Srebrenica-type massacre – the 1995 genocide of more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims by Bosnian Serb forces.

Dmitry Kozak, Russia’s representative in negotiations on Ukraine, has threatened that a Ukrainian assault on Donbas would be a ‘”self-inflicted gunshot wound in the foot and to the head”.

“If the Srebrenica massacre takes place there, we will have to stand up for their defence,” he said.

Sharp rhetoric to match an aggressive display of military might.

All in the interests of deterrence? Perhaps.

But also an indication that eight years of sanctions has hardly served to deter Russia from at the very least flexing its muscles, if not more.



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