Defence Minister Peter Dutton says it is difficult to see how Russian President Vladimir Putin hasn't given troops the order to invade Ukraine given the military buildup on the border.
Speaking after reports from US intelligence and warnings from British prime minister Boris Johnson the conflict would be the biggest war in Europe since 1945, Mr Dutton said invasion seemed inevitable.
"Troops continue to build up, the presence of the ships in the Black Sea, the cyber attacks, the false flag activity, it's all pointing in one direction sadly," he told the Nine Network on Monday.
"We just don't want to see women and children as the victims of another war, but it seems that is the path that Vladimir Putin is set on embarking."
Mr Dutton said any conflict would have a knock-on effect for the world and while there are hopes of an 11th-hour reprieve, "There is no sign of one yet".
There has been sporadic shelling between the divide of Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatists, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinkin saying Russia is on the brink of invading.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australia would stand up to authoritarian autocrats that seek to bully others but has ruled out sending military aid to Ukraine.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne met with her Ukrainian counterpart in Europe as the pair attended a security conference in Germany.
Dmytro Kuleba said he and senator Ms Payne discussed "opportunities for providing military-technical support".
"Grateful to Australia for standing by Ukraine at this tense time of the security crisis created by Russia," Mr Kuleba wrote on Twitter.
The meeting comes just after Australia officially attributed malicious cyber activity against Ukrainian banks to the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate, known as the GRU.
Australia will continue to provide Ukraine with cybersecurity assistance and further security training for Ukrainian officials in light of the February 15 and 16 attacks.
Mr Dutton said there is scope to provide more support to Ukraine through "basic equipment" and Australia would look at each request from the country.
"But we need to be realistic in these circumstances as the troops amass and the ships are on a particular course and now occupying the Black Sea," he told the ABC.
"Every sign is a worrying indication so we can provide what support we can but we've been very clear that the Australian Government won't be providing troops on the ground."
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews says Australia is reviewing what visa support it could offer Ukrainians if conflict does break out.
"There are ways that people can indicate that they wish to come to Australia and resettle (and) that is through our humanitarian programs. That is what will be our focus," she told the ABC.
"We will be going through the process of looking at what is the best way to support people right across the world (but) the only way to come to Australia is legitimately and legally."
Australian Associated Press
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