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Biden holds a call with Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Dec. 9. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden assured President Volodymyr Zelensky during a call Sunday that the U.S. and its allies will "respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

Why it matters: The call is the latest communication between the two leaders ahead of a series of diplomatic talks between Washington and Moscow this month addressing Russia's military buildup along its border with Ukraine.

Driving the news: With Russia moving nearly 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border, U.S. and European allies have been working to avert a potential large-scale invasion early this year.

What they're saying: "President Biden underscored the commitment of the United States and its allies and partners to the principle of 'nothing about you without you,'" Psaki noted.

  • Biden also "reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity" and expressed support for confidence-building measures to reduce tensions in Donbas, Psaki added.

The big picture: The U.S. and Russia agreed last week to hold bilateral talks on Jan. 10, followed by a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council on Jan. 12 and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Jan. 13.

  • During a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Dec. 30, Biden laid out "two paths" for how the crisis in Ukraine could play out, either via diplomacy or deterrence.
  • During a call with Zelensky in early December, Biden "made very clear that one nation can't force another nation to change its borders."

Go deeper: Biden lays out "two paths" for Ukraine crisis in call with Putin

Go deeper

Jan 14, 2022 - World

U.S. accuses Russia of preparing "false flag" operation to attack Ukraine

Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The U.S. claims to have information indicating that Russia has "already prepositioned a group of operatives to conduct a false-flag operation in eastern Ukraine," laying the groundwork for a potential pretext to invade, according to a U.S. official.

Why it matters: Diplomatic talks between the U.S., its European allies and Russia failed to produce a breakthrough this week, raising fears that Moscow will invade Ukraine and unleash a devastating new war.

Updated Jan 14, 2022 - World

U.S. confirms Russia arrested REvil ransomware hackers

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaking in Moscow in June 2021. Photo: Alexei Nikolsky/TASS via Getty Images

Russia's security agency said Friday it arrested members of the Russia-based cyber gang REvil that was responsible for multiple massive ransomware attacks against U.S. companies last year.

The latest: A senior administration official confirmed on Friday afternoon that Russia informed the U.S. that it arrested the alleged hackers, including an individual responsible for the cyberattack that crippled the Colonial Pipeline.

Pence: "Tragic" Jan. 6 no reason to scrap filibuster

Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

Former Vice President Mike Pence on Friday called the Jan. 6 Capitol riot an attempt to "overturn results of the presidential election that had been certified by all 50 states."

Why it matters: Though the former vice president's op-ed in the Washington Post focuses on rebutting filibuster reforms, these are also the most public statements Pence has made about the post-election narrative and the attack as an effort to interfere with President Biden's victory.

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