An armored personnel carrier burns and damaged light utility vehicles stand abandoned after fighting in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022. (AP Photo / Marienko Andrew)

The directive to put Russia’s nuclear weapons in an increased state of readiness for launch raised fears that the crisis could boil over into nuclear warfare, whether by design or mistake.

Police officers inspect area after an apparent Russian strike in Kyiv Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. (AP Photo / Emilio Morenatti)

The chief of the NATO alliance said the “brutal act of war” shattered peace in Europe, joining a chorus of world leaders who decried the attack. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a news conference in Moscow, Russia, Feb. 1, 2022. (Yuri Kochetkov / Pool Photo via AP, File)

The Holocaust, World War II and Nazism have been important tools for Putin in his bid to legitimize Russia’s moves in Ukraine, but historians see their use as disinformation and a cynical ploy to further the Russian leader’s aims.

Ukrainian lawmakers approved President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s decree that imposes the measure for 30 days starting Thursday. The state of emergency allows authorities to impose restrictions on movement, block rallies and ban political parties and organizations “in the interests of national security and public order.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the nation in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Feb. 21, 2022. (Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

A vaguely worded decree signed by Putin did not say if troops were on the move, and it cast the order as an effort to “maintain peace.” But it appeared to dash the slim remaining hopes of averting a major conflict in Europe that could cause massive casualties, energy shortages on the continent and economic chaos around the globe.

A boy plays with a weapon while an instructor shows a Kalashnikov assault rifle during a training of members of a Ukrainian far-right group train, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022. (AP Photo / Efrem Lukatsky)

Russia extended military drills near Ukraine’s northern borders Sunday amid increased fears that two days of sustained shelling along the contact line between soldiers and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine could spark an invasion.

Members of National Guard of Ukraine look out of the window as they ride in a bus through the city of Kyiv, Monday, Feb. 14, 2022. More NATO troops headed to Eastern Europe and some nations worked to move their citizens and diplomats out of Ukraine on Monday. (AP Photo / Emilio Morenatti)

The Kremlin signaled Monday it is ready to keep talking with the West about security grievances that led to the current Ukraine crisis, offering hope that Russia might not invade its beleaguered neighbor within days.

An instructor shows a woman how to use a Kalashnikov assault rifle, as members of a Ukrainian far-right group train, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022. (AP Photo / Efrem Lukatsky)

President Joe Biden spoke for about 50 minutes Sunday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and renewed promises of what the West says will be tough economic sanctions against Moscow and a NATO buildup in the event of “any further Russian aggression” against Ukraine, the White House said.

In this handout photo released by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, the Russian navy's amphibious assault ship Kaliningrad sails into the Sevastopol harbor in Crimea. The Russian navy has sent six amphibious assault ships into the Black Sea as part of a buildup of forces near Ukraine that stoked Western fears of an invasion. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)

The Biden administration on Friday escalated its dire warnings about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, saying it could take place within days, even as diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis continued.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan gives an update about the ongoing talks with Russia at a press briefing at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik)

The senior adviser to President Joe Biden offered another stark warning the day after U.S. officials confirmed that Russia has assembled at least 70% of the military firepower it likely intends to have in place by mid-month to give President Vladimir Putin the option of launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

President Joe Biden speaks about the American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)
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President Joe Biden told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a Friday phone call that he must “take action” against cybercriminals acting in his country and that the U.S. reserves the right to “defend its people and its critical infrastructure,” the White House said.

In this March 10, 2011, file photo, then-Vice President Joe Biden, left, shakes hands with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo / Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian leader Vladimir Putin held their first phone conversation as counterparts Tuesday in a phone call that underscored troubled relations and the delicate balance between the former Cold War foes. 

(Courtesy of CNN)
What can we expect from U.S.-Russia relations under the Trump administration?
Steven Lee Myers

Former New York Times Moscow bureau chief Steven Lee Myers spent seven years covering one of the most controversial leaders on the world stage. Myers now has written a comprehensive new biography, "The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin." Myers joins us to discuss the book.

President Barack Obama meets with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at his dacha outside Moscow, Russia, July 7, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The president of Russia writes an open letter to American readers in The New York Times urging "caution" in Syria. Eddie Arruza and his guests have analysis. Read Putin's full Op-Ed.