File photo of flag of Russia and Ukraine
Russia and Ukraine flags (Picture: Alamy Stock Photo).

Ukraine ridicules Russia by tweeting headache meme amid invasion concerns

File photo of flag of Russia and Ukraine
Russia and Ukraine flags (Picture: Alamy Stock Photo).

Ukraine has ridiculed Russia by tweeting a meme poking fun at Moscow amid growing concerns over a potential Russian invasion.

On Ukraine's official Twitter account, the country shared a popular meme template depicting different types of headaches with one illustration, titled 'Living next to Russia', showing a headache pain all over a person's head. 

The tweet, posted on Tuesday afternoon, has gone viral with tens of thousands of retweets and more than 150,000 likes.

It came amid talks over tensions between Russia and neighbouring Ukraine.

The UK and its allies have agreed to work together to encourage Russia to back down from its "threatening behaviour" towards Ukraine.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other European leaders took part in talks with US President Joe Biden on Tuesday evening as Western allies consider how to respond to the threat of a Russian incursion.

The call came after Mr Biden held an online meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The US leader warned that, in the event of an invasion, America stands ready to impose sanctions that would exact "a very real cost" on the Russian economy, White House officials said.

Mr Biden then spoke to Mr Johnson, Italian prime minister Mario Draghi, French President Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel as they seek to present a united front against the Kremlin.

Watch: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg last week warned of "serious consequences" for Russia if it was to use force against Ukraine. 

It was the second time the five leaders – dubbed the NATO "Quint" – had spoken within the past 24 hours regarding the diplomatic crisis.

Downing Street said the leaders "underlined the importance of Russia ceasing their threatening behaviour towards Ukraine" during the call.

US intelligence officials have claimed Moscow has massed 70,000 troops near the Ukraine border and has made preparations for a possible invasion early next year.

An official said the discovery, announced last week, estimates Russia is planning to use 175,000 troops and that the plans call for the movement of 100 battalion tactical groups along with armour, artillery and equipment.

However, American national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the US believes Mr Putin has not yet made a final decision to invade.

Ukrainian officials said Russia had further escalated the crisis by sending tanks and snipers to war-torn eastern Ukraine to "provoke return fire" and lay a pretext for a potential invasion.

US intelligence officials have not been able to independently verify that accusation.

Watch: NATO and EU agree to step up work in countering threats posed by Belarus and Russia.

During the call with Mr Biden, Mr Putin, according to his foreign adviser, told the US President that "the Russian troops are on their own territory, and they don't threaten anyone".

Mr Putin came into the meeting seeking guarantees from Mr Biden that the NATO military alliance will never expand to include Ukraine, which has long sought membership.

But the Americans and their NATO allies said in advance that the request was a non-starter. 

The Kremlin, in a post-call statement, said NATO had been "making dangerous attempts to expand its presence on the Ukrainian territory and has been expanding its military potential near Russian borders".

White House officials have said Mr Biden is not interested in putting US troops in harm's way to defend Ukraine but Mr Sullivan said the President said the US would also "provide additional defensive material to the Ukrainians".

However, Mr Sullivan added potential efforts to bolster regional allies could lead to additional deployments of US troops to eastern European NATO allies.

Foreign Office minister Vicky Ford told MPs in the House of Commons on Tuesday that the UK was considering "an extension of purely defensive support to Ukraine to help Ukraine defend itself".

She said any "military incursion" by Russia into the eastern European country would be a "strategic mistake".

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