According to reports, nearly 100 Russian troops have landed in the Venezuelan capital Caracas, the United States, suggesting that a military option is "on the table" that continues to press the country's president to resign.
Reuters reports Sunday that two Russian planes arrived in Caracas on Saturday when one of them reportedly transported former Chief of Staff of Russian ground forces Vasily Tonkoshkurov.
Neither the Venezuelan nor the Russian authorities have commented on the flights.
Venezuela and Russia held joint military exercises in January, and Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized US support for opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has proclaimed himself interim president, as an interventionist.
Moscow has also pledged to "prevent any provocation" bloodshed. "
This is the latest move pointing to stronger support from Moscow for the embattled regime of President Nicolas Maduro. Maduro said Wednesday that Russia will deliver humanitarian aid to Venezuela, which has been undergoing major political and financial changes for four years.
In December, Russia sent two bomber planes capable of carrying nuclear weapons to Venezuela. 1
"To those who help to send the wealth of the Venezuelan people out of the country to support Maduro and his friends Today we know that the United States is watching," he wrote.
To those who help to send the wealth of the Venezuelan people out of the country to help Madu Ro and his friends, you know today that the United States is watching.
– John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) March 23, 2019
In addition to levying severe sanctions on Venezuela's oil industry and calling for the country's military elite to turn against Maduro, the Trump government sent in February relief convoys to the border between Colombia and Venezuela.
Shortly after Bolton was unintentionally exposed on a line on a notepad in front of the press cameras, the United States is considering sending 5,000 troops to the border.
Venezuelan troops blocked the aid with tear gas and violence at the Colombian and Brazilian borders, resulting in two deaths. Since then, the country has been affected by prolonged power and telecommunications outages, resulting in schools and hospitals closing down.
The news of Russian planes landing in Caracas comes on the day Attorney General William Barr confirmed in a bombshell letter that, according to Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, the Russians launched an intervention campaign during the 2016 campaign to influence US elections.
Mueller, who has been charged with investigating allegations of collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russian officials, said the president's disability and wrongdoing, determined that Russian actors successfully conducted a disinformation campaign in the run-up to the election and "successfully hacked into computers and e-mails from individuals affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and these materials have been publicly disseminated to various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks.  According to Barr, Müller's final report found no evidence of US involvement in these files, either inside or outside the Trump campaign.