President Biden said Tuesday that a Russian invasion of Ukraine "remains distinctly possible," but held out hope that a diplomatic resolution could be reached.
"This is about more than just Russia and Ukraine — it's about standing for what we believe in," Mr. Biden said.
Mr. Biden said the U.S. has "not verified" Russian claims that it has started a troop drawdown near Ukraine, and U.S. analysts still believe there are 150,000 troops circling the border with Ukraine and Belarus.
While the U.S. has ruled out sending troops into Ukraine to defend against a Russian attack, the president warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that the U.S. would take action if Russian forces move into any of the NATO countries surrounding Ukraine, saying "an attack on NATO is an attack on all of us."
Mr. Biden's address at the White House came after Ukrainian officials said Tuesday that some of their national security and financial sites were under attack by hackers.
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry tweeted that its website has likely been hit by a denial-of-service attack, noting that "an excessive number of requests per second was recorded."
The ministry said that it's working on restoring the website.
Ukraine's Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security confirmed reports of the cyberattacks, stating, "For the last few hours, Privatbank has been under a massive DDoS attack." Users reported that they were having problems with payments, as well as with the app. Some had trouble logging in, while others could not access their balance or recent transactions, according to the center.
Privatbank said that depositors' funds face "no threat" — it's just the app that is affected, and financial transactions "perform normally." Oschadbank's internet banking is down.
The center theorized, "It is possible that the aggressor resorted to the tactics of petty mischief because by and large, his aggressive plans do not work." However, it did not blame Putin for the attacks, and it is currently unclear at this time who is behind the attacks.
The last significant cyberattack on Ukraine took place in January, and Ukraine's ambassador told CBS News' Margaret Brennan that an invasion by Moscow was likely to be preceded by hacking.
"If Russia decides on a full invasion, then we know that we should expect increased cyberattacks before that," Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova told CBS News.
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security on Monday held a call to warn law enforcement, military, and U.S. infrastructure stakeholders to be prepared for potential Russian cyberattacks that correspond with a possible invasion of Ukraine. (Source)