US President Joe Biden has sparked World War Three fears as he warned Russia it will give Ukraine its "unwavering support".
The Kremlin on Thursday said its neighbour was about to be "destroyed" by war as it deployed troops and tanks to the countries' disputed border.
It added it will ”take extra measures” if NATO sends forces to help Ukraine amid fears it was stoking tensions in the Donbass region.
Biden made the pledge in a call to President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday after Kiev accused Moscow of building up military forces on its border, the Sun reports.
In a statement the White House said that Biden "affirmed the United States' unwavering support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia's ongoing aggression in the Donbas and Crimea".
Zelensky on Twitter said he was "glad" to talk to Biden and hailed Kiev's partnership with Washington as "crucial for Ukrainians".
On Thursday Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: “No doubt such a scenario would lead to a further increase in tensions close to Russia's borders.
“Of course, this would call for additional measures from the Russian side to ensure its security.”
He insisted that Russia was “not threatening” Ukraine, despite an earlier statement which warned a war in Donbass would “destroy” its neighbour.
A NATO official told Reuters that Russia was undermining efforts to reduce tensions in eastern Ukraine, and NATO ambassadors had met on Thursday to discuss the situation.
The official said: “Allies share their concerns about Russia's recent large-scale military activities in and around Ukraine.”
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky joined the criticism, saying "military exercises and possible provocations along the border are traditional Russian games".
Meanwhile, Mr Peskov accused Ukrainian forces of staging "provocations" on the frontline in eastern Ukraine, where a fragile ceasefire is violated daily.
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The Pentagon has reportedly elevated the alert level of US troops in Europe to its highest status, saying "we're watching the situation very carefully".
Kiev's intelligence services have warned Russia may attempt an armed incursion into Ukraine, reports news agency UNIAN.
Tanks, military trucks and howitzers can all be seen allegedly being shipped to the border in unverified videos on social media.
Open war between Russia and the Ukraine would force the West into an impossible situation.
Britain, the US and other nations may either have to go up against Putin -with his massive military and nuclear arsenal – or abandon their allies in Kiev.
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Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russian for "muscle-flexing" and said they were ready for any confrontation.
"Our army is not just strength and power; it is also wisdom and balance. Our state is unity. We are always ready for any provocations," he said.
Ukraine and Russia have remained technically at war since 2014.
The Kremlin has denied any ill intent – insisting that its own troop were not aimed at anyone, but has described the situation on the border as "frightening".
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