Russian President Vladimir Putin will speak with his country’s top security officials as part of a meeting on Monday, the Kremlin has confirmed, amid a worsening standoff across the border with Ukraine.
Speaking to journalists moments before the meeting was due to start, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov shed light on the session and on the president’s schedule.
“Putin will convene a meeting of the Russian Security Council. It’s a big Security Council,” he said, adding that the head of state will make an address, and others attending will also make speeches.
Peskov also confirmed that Putin “also has several international phone calls today.”
The meeting comes amid a string of reported clashes in eastern Ukraine in the past few days. Ukrainian soldiers and those loyal to the two self-declared separatist republics in the Donbass have accused one another of aggression along the contact line, with claims of heavy fire coming from both sides.
Citing fresh fears of fighting, the rebel leaders of the so-called People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk announced on Friday that they had begun evacuating residents to Russia as a result of the deteriorating security situation, and ordered the mobilization of all able-bodied men to be ready to fight in a potential conflict.