Russia’s Defense Ministry confirmed that it has gathered 8,500 infantry and 1,500 paratroopers, as well as armored vehicles, helicopters, and artillery batteries along Ukraine’s eastern border. The move has heightened concerns that Russia intends to assert itself beyond Crimea. The troop movement provoked the sharpest response yet from German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In London today, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry holds key talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Al Jazeera reports that Western diplomats are preparing a draft resolution against Russia’s actions to be put to the U.N. Security Council before the Crimean secession vote on Sunday.