On Friday, Ukraine was hit by a massive cyberattack.
Russia has also released footage of more forces being deployed on Ukraine’s border in a drill.
These developments come at a time when no breakthrough agreement was reached between Russia and the West with the latter fearing Moscow could launch an attack on Ukraine.
“The drumbeat of war is sounding loud,” said a senior U.S. diplomat.
While Russia has denied that it plans on attacking Ukraine it has however said, it could take unspecified military action unless its demands are met, which includes a promise by the NATO to never to admit Ukraine into the military alliance.
Troops have been deployed in a far eastern region of Russia for exercises, said the Russian Defense Ministry while releasing footage showing numerous armored vehicles and other military hardware being loaded onto trains in the Eastern Military District.
“This is likely cover for the units being moved towards Ukraine,” said Rob Lee, a military analyst and a fellow at the U.S.-based Foreign Policy Research Institute.
Such deployments could indicate that Moscow has no intention of lowering tensions over Ukraine, as it presses for sweeping demands for “security guarantees” – key elements of which have been described by the United States as non-starters.
Ukrainian authorities have begun investigating a huge cyberattack, which hit government bodies including the ministry of foreign affairs, cabinet of ministers, and security and defence council.
“Ukrainian! All your personal data was uploaded to the public network. All data on the computer is destroyed, it is impossible to restore it,” said a message visible on hacked government websites, written in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish.
“All information about you has become public, be afraid and expect the worst. This is for your past, present and future.”
According to Ukraine’s foreign ministry, it was too early to say who could be behind the cyberattack but added, in the past Russia had been behind similar attacks,
Russia did not immediately respond to requests for comments. Previously Moscow has denied being behind cyber attacks on Ukraine.
Condemning the attacks, the European Union’s top diplomat said the EU’s political and security committee and cyber units would meet to see how to respond and help Kyiv.
“We are going to mobilise all our resources to help Ukraine to tackle this cyber attack. Sadly, we knew it could happen,” said Josep Borrell at an EU foreign ministers meeting in the French city of Brest.
“It’s difficult to say (who is behind it). I can’t blame anybody as I have no proof, but we can imagine,” he said.
On Thursday, Washington issued a warning saying the threat of a Russian military invasion of Ukraine was high.
In response, Moscow said dialogue was continuing but was hitting a dead end as it tried to persuade the West to bar Ukraine from joining NATO and roll back decades of alliance expansion in Europe.
NATO and the United States have so far rejected Russian demands saying they are willing to talk about arms control, missile deployments, confidence-building measures and limits on military exercises.
On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, Moscow was awaiting a point-by-point written response to its proposals.