The December 3 document became the first of a series of attempts to release intelligence about Russian plans by the United States and Britain, which would contain details of a Russian campaign of sabotage, a coup plot, an elaborate attempt to to use to create a pretext for an invasion and other false flag operations plotted by the Russian military intelligence agency, the GRU
Mr Biden and Mr Putin spoke over a secure video link for an hour and 59 minutes on the morning of December 7, just three days after the declassified document went public. According to US officials, the president offered Putin a choice: agree to diplomacy or risk serious economic and political consequences from the sanctions that would be imposed after an invasion of Ukraine.
In some ways, Mr. Biden was clearly prepared for the moment. He has visited Ukraine half a dozen times in the past decade and knows the country better than any other US president. His foreign policy team is made up of what are often called ‘Atlantic’, who have spent their lives thinking about European security. (Antony J. Blinken, the Secretary of State, grew up in Paris.)
Aid workers also said Biden’s long history with Putin made him less susceptible to the Russian president’s tactics. In talks about Ukraine, officials said Mr Putin often enjoyed explaining over long periods of time the minute details of the Minsk accord, a complicated year-long attempt at diplomacy with Ukraine, hoping to confuse the situation.
On Christmas Day last year, the Russian military publicly announced the withdrawal of 10,000 troops from the Ukrainian border, citing evidence that Mr Putin had no intention of invading his neighbor any time soon.
At the White House, the president and his team wouldn’t believe it.
Intelligence officials had seen repeated cases where the Russians brought a tactical battalion group close to the border, set up the infrastructure needed for a swift invasion, and then send the troops back, leaving behind a grenade for use by other battalions. the Russian National Guard or other armed forces loyal to Mr Putin.