• AFP-JIJI, REUTERS

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U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday sought to maintain pressure on Russian leader Vladimir Putin over Ukraine, announcing a small troop deployment to Eastern Europe even as top Pentagon officials backed a renewed push for diplomacy.

As President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged Western leaders to avoid stirring “panic” over the massive Russian troop buildup on his country’s borders, Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed on the need for de-escalation.

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