Ukraine conflict adds new urgency to get Paul Whelan released from Russia

Melissa Nann Burke
The Detroit News

Washington — The escalating tensions between the United States and Russia over Ukraine are worrying supporters of Michigan's Paul Whelan, who fear the standoff will set back diplomatic efforts to secure his release after more than three years in Russian custody.

Whelan's family and his advocates are watching developments closely amid Russia’s buildup of over 100,000 troops along Ukraine’s borders, sparking concerns of an imminent invasion. The Biden administration has stepped up military aid to Ukraine and drafted a set of economic sanctions in response, sending lethal weapons and putting over 8,500 troops stationed in Europe on high alert.