Ukraine news – live: Rebels say Kiev forces shelled them again as Biden expects Russia to strike ‘within days’

Joe Biden has warned a Russian attack on Ukraine is almost inevitable and “every indication” and could happen “within the next several days”.

Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, said Russia’s plans for an invasion of Ukraine would likely include unconventional methods – and urged Moscow to renew diplomatic efforts rather than go to war.

“Conventional attacks are not all that Russia plans to inflict upon the people of Ukraine,” said Mr Blinken, who addressed an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the ongoing crisis.

The warning came hours after Boris Johnson branded the attack on a preschool in the disputed Donbass region of eastern Ukraine a “false flag operation”, designed to create a pretext for the two countries going to war. Voldoymyr Zelenskiy, president of Ukraine, accused pro-Russia rebels of firing projectiles at the preschool in a “big provocation”.

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