Russia Attacks Ukraine, Launching New War in Europe
Ukraine’s president told his country that ‘the army is doing its work’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday urged his fellow citizens to stay calm as Russia launched attacks on the country.
“Stay calm, stay at home, the army is doing its work,” he said during an address to the country early Thursday.
“Don’t panic. We are strong. We are ready for everything. We will defeat everyone. Because we are Ukraine,” he added.
Veteran US diplomats slam former President Trump for praising Russian President Putin
Veteran US diplomats took to Twitter this week to condemn former President Trump after he expressed his admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war strategy.
“I went in yesterday, and there was a television screen, and I said, ‘This is genius.’ Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine — of Ukraine — Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful,” Trump said on the “Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show Tuesday.”
Putin announced attacks against Ukraine on Thursday in the same suit as his Monday speech, prompting speculation his war declaration was pre-taped
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attire during his Wednesday night war declaration suggests his speech may have been pre-taped.
Putin late on Wednesday said he decided to launch a “special military action” against Ukraine, in a video that aired early Thursday morning in Russia.
But during a televised address on Monday, Putin appeared to wear the same outfit as he denounced Ukraine’s sovereignty, argued that Ukraine was a creation of the Soviet Union, and announced military intervention in eastern Ukraine.
Both videos were filmed with Putin apparently sitting in the same spot, at the same table, wearing the same outfit: A black blazer with a white dress shirt and a maroon tie.
A CNN reporter in Kyiv paused during his live report to put on a flak jacket after hearing explosions near the Ukrainian capital
CNN reporter Matthew Chance abruptly paused his live reporting from Kyiv to put on a flak jacket on-air after hearing explosions in the Ukrainian capital, blasts that came as Russia launched a major attack against Ukraine.
“I just heard a big bang right here behind me,” he said, adding that “there are big explosions taking place in Kyiv right now.”
He said that before tonight, the city has been “absolutely silent.” As the explosions went off, Chance grabbed a flak jacket and put it on live on-air.
Russia’s diplomat was in charge of the UN Security Council meeting as Putin announced an invasion of Ukraine
As Russian President Vladimir Putin announced an attack on Ukraine, his ambassador to the United Nations was in charge of the UN Security Council meeting late Wednesday night.
As the Security Council discussed ways to avoid a war, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military offensive against Ukraine in a video that aired early on Thursday morning in Russia.
Russian envoy Vassily Nebenzia faced off with Ukraine’s UN ambassador, Sergiy Kyslytsya, in a tense exchange amid the emergency meeting in New York.
Trump falsely blames Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on ‘rigged election’ in the US before Fox News cut him off
Former President Donald Trump called into Fox News late Wednesday night only to be cut off once he brought up his 2020 election lies.
Laura Ingraham was asking Trump about “a lot of weakness in the United States” and where NATO stands as Russia mounts an invasion of Ukraine.
Trump quickly pivoted to reiterating his lies about voter fraud in the 2020 election.
“I think you’re exactly right, I think that’s what happened,” Trump said.
“He was going to be satisfied with a peace, and now he sees the weakness and the incompetence and the stupidity of this administration, and as an American, I’m angry about it, and I’m saddened by it,” he continued. “And it all happened because of a rigged election. This would have never happened.”
Ukraine rips into Russia at the UN, saying war criminals ‘go straight to hell’
Ukraine’s ambassador to the UN, Sergiy Kyslytsya, delivered a speech on Wednesday condemning Russia for launching a military operation against his country.
In comments directed to the Russian ambassador, Vasily Nebenzya, at an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting, Kyslytsya said, “About 48 minutes ago, your president declared war on Ukraine.”
The Ukrainian ambassador said that if Russia’s representative could not answer in the affirmative, he should step down from his leadership position.
“There is no purgatory for war criminals,” Kyslytsya said to the Russian ambassador at the end of the meeting. “They go straight to hell”
Russia attacks Ukraine, launching a new war in Europe for the first time in years
Russian forces attacked Ukraine early Thursday morning, launching an offensive that threatens to kill thousands of people, force millions more to flee, and destabilize much of Europe, with the consequences certain to reverberate across the world.
Blasts were heard from Kyiv, the capital, to the eastern city of Kharkiv — missile strikes, the Ukrainian interior ministry told CNN — with reports of outgoing artillery fire from Russian forces across the border.
Biden says Putin launched a ‘premeditated war’ on Ukraine that will result in ‘catastrophic loss of life and human suffering’
US President Joe Biden released a statement late Wednesday saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a “premeditated war” against Ukraine.
The statement came after Putin announced a “special military operation” in Ukraine, with reports of explosions and flares coming minutes afterwards, including in Ukraine’s capital city, Kyiv.
“The prayers of the entire world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces,” Biden said in his statement.
“Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring,” the statement said. “The world will hold Russia accountable.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin announces military assault against Ukraine in surprise speech
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military offensive against Ukraine in a video that aired early on Thursday morning in Russia.
Putin said Russia had decided to launch a “special military action” against Ukraine, with reports of explosions and flares coming minutes later in Ukraine. The state-run Russian RIA news agency said the offensive would begin in the Donbas area of eastern Ukraine, also claiming that Putin does not have plans to occupy Ukraine.
Russia for months denied plans to invade Ukraine, even as it amassed tens of thousands of troops along the border.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine that began Monday has sent shockwaves through Europe and the wider world, while threatening to destabilize the surrounding region and rock global markets.
UN chief issues desperate plea to Putin on Ukraine: ‘Give peace a chance. Too many people have already died’
UN Chief António Gutteres made a desperate plea to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday night during an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting regarding Russia’s invasion into Ukraine.
“If indeed an operation is being prepared, I have only one thing to say from the bottom of my heart: President Putin, stop your troops from attacking Ukraine,” Gutteres said. “Give peace a chance. Too many people have already died.”
The meeting had been requested by Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba hours earlier.
During the UNSC meeting, Putin declared a “special military operation” in Donbas, scaling up his country’s military invasion into Ukraine.
Sen. Marco Rubio says the Russian invasion of Ukraine is “now underway”
Sen. Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said late Wednesday that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is already underway.
The Florida lawmaker tweeted that Russia will make a series of military moves “in the hours to come.”
Rubio said Russia would soon:
- Conduct strikes on air defense systems
- Move to cut off Kyiv from eastern Ukraine
- Move to cut off Ukraine’s military forces on the line of contact in the east to prevent them from falling back to defend Kyiv
Politico reporter Alex Ward retweeted the senator, saying a senior Democratic aide confirmed that Rubio’s outline is “consistent” with US intelligence on the matter.
Earlier Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned that a full-scale attack on Ukraine could begin tonight.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says ‘everything seems to be in place’ for Russia to mount a full-scale attack on Ukraine before the night is over
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told NBC News that “everything seems to be in place” for Russian forces to mount a full-scale attack on Ukraine.
He said he can’t “put a date or an exact time on it” but that Russia has “positioned its forces at the final point of readiness across Ukraine’s borders to the north, to the east, to the south.”
“Everything seems to be in place for Russia to engage in a major aggression against Ukraine,” Blinken added.
Ukraine’s parliament passed a law allowing citizens to carry firearms, and a local NGO official said ‘there’s a feeling that Ukrainians will fight’
The Ukrainian parliament passed a law on Wednesday, which allows citizens to carry firearms in public, alongside the enactment of a state of emergency, after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops to eastern Ukraine on Monday.
Previously, Ukrainian citizens were barred from carrying guns outside of their homes.
“Now it’s the intention of the parliament is to liberalize ownership of armaments by citizens,” Dmytro Shulga, the European Programme Director at the International Renaissance Foundation, an NGO in Kyiv, told Insider. “And I think that this is very popular news now.”
Ukraine claims Russia may be planning a false-flag ‘terrorist attack’ at chemical plant in Crimea
Ukraine’s military intelligence unit claimed Wednesday that employees had been evacuated from a chemicals plant in Russian-occupied Crimea ahead of a possible “terrorist attack” that would be falsely blamed on Kyiv.
In a post on Facebook, the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine said it had collected intelligence showing that “all employees” had been forced to leave the Titan chemicals plant in Armiansk, Crimea. The purpose, the post said, might be to accuse Ukraine of carrying out an attack on the facility — providing a justification for war.
“We officially declare that Ukraine has not planned and does not plan any act of sabotage at this facility,” the post said.
Russia has more than 150,000 troops stationed along Ukraine’s borders, with Russian-backed separatists in the east of the country on Wednesday formally requesting military intervention. The US and other allies of Ukraine have repeatedly accused of Russia of planning “false flag” attacks in order to portray an invasion as defensive in nature.
Ukraine’s Zelensky appeals directly to Russian citizens for peace after he was met with ‘silence’ when he tried to call Putin
In a somber early-morning speech from Kyiv, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed directly to the Russian people, pleading for peace amid rising fears of an imminent invasion.
“The people of Ukraine and the government of Ukraine want peace,” Zelensky said in a video address. “But if we come under attack that threaten our freedom and lives of our people we will fight back.”
Zelensky also said that he tried to call Russian President Vladimir Putin late Wednesday but said he was met with “silence.”
Kremlin-backed rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine formally ask Putin for military forces to fight Ukraine
The Kremlin on Wednesday said Moscow-backed rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine have asked Russia for military assistance to fight off Ukrainian “aggression,” just hours after Ukraine declared a nationwide state of emergency amid rising fears of an imminent Russian invasion.
The move comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday recognized the independence of two Kremlin-backed separatist regions in eastern Ukraine, the self-described “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk, reversing Russia’s years-long stance on the region and marking a possible lead-up to a major offensive.
On Tuesday, Russian lawmakers granted Putin powers to use military force outside of the country.
In letters reportedly sent to Putin and published by the Russian-state TASS news agency, the Russia-backed rebel leaders requested Russian intervention in an effort to “avoid civilian casualties and prevent a humanitarian catastrophe.”
The White House responded to the letters, saying the request exemplified the type of “false flag” operations the West has been warning of for weeks, according to The Associated Press.
Ukraine’s foreign minister told the UN a full-blown war with Russia would be ‘end of the world order’
Ukraine’s foreign minister told the United Nations on Wednesday that a full-blown war with Russia would spell the “end of the world order.”
“The beginning of a large-scale war in Ukraine will be the end of the world order as we know it,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told the UN General Assembly in New York and later shared on Ukraine’s government website.
Kuleba urged the UN and international community to impose “swift, concrete, and resolute actions” as a response to the latest Russian aggression.
Ukraine declares a state of emergency
Ukraine declared a nationwide state of emergency after Russia ordered troops into eastern parts of the country.
Ukrainian MPs ratified the measures in parliament on Wednesday, after a recommendation by the country’s security council.
US warned Ukraine of new intelligence suggesting Russia is about to attack
The US has issued a warning to Ukraine that new intelligence suggests Russia is about to launch a major assault as its forces take up positions inside rebel-held areas of eastern Ukraine, according to reports from CNN and Newsweek.
Ukrainian officials were told Tuesday morning local Kyiv time that it’s highly likely Russia will begin an invasion in the next 48 hours, according to the Newsweek report.
Ukraine’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that there are no plans to evacuate the city of Kharkiv, which US officials have warned is at particular risk in an assault.
China accuses US of ‘creating panic’ with sanctions against Russia
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters during a press conference that the “US has been sending weapons to Ukraine, heightening tensions, creating panic and even hyping up the possibility of warfare.”
“A key question here is what role the US — the culprit of current tensions surrounding Ukraine — has played,” Chunying said. “If someone keeps pouring oil on the flame while accusing others of not doing their best to put out the fire, such kind of behavior is clearly irresponsible and immoral.”
She added: “We consistently oppose all illegal unilateral sanctions.”
The European Union adopted new sanctions against Russian elites and lawmakers
The European Union announced new sanctions against Russia on Wednesday targeting hundreds of Russian lawmakers, dozens of “high profile individuals,” and financial restrictions.
The sanctions zero in on 351 Russian lawmakers and 27 “high profile individuals and entities,” the EU said in a statement.
Restrictive measures include freezing assets and banning any of the sanctioned elites from entering or traveling through EU territory.
Russian government threatens ‘painful’ response to US over sanctions
The Russian government warned on Wednesday of a “strong” and “painful” response to the United States over the Biden administration’s sanctions against the country over its invasion of Ukraine, according to multiple reports.
Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Russia will target “sensitive” US assets as retaliation.
The ministry said in a statement that the US sanctions against it are part of America’s “ongoing attempts to change Russia’s course,” CNN reported.
Ukrainian government websites crashed in suspected cyberattack
A suspected cyberattack shut down a handful of Ukraine’s government websites on Wednesday.
The websites of Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cabinet of Ministers, and Rada — or Parliament — all experienced outages around 5 p.m. local time in Kyiv.
As of 6 p.m. local time, all three websites seemed to have been restored.
The government was also hit last month by a cyberattack, which a top Ukrainian security official blamed on Russia.
VIDEO: Thousands evacuate eastern Ukraine over fears of war
Videos show thousands of residents evacuating eastern Ukraine and crossing into Russia as fears grow that Putin is moving closer to war.
Ukraine will declare a state of emergency, top security official says
Ukraine’s top security official said that a 30-day state of emergency will be declared on Wednesday.
Oleksiy Danilov said the state of emergency “can include restrictions on movement of transportation, additional inspections of transportation. This can include inspections of individuals’ documents,” the Financial Times reported.
The parliament is expected to announce its decision on Wednesday. It comes after a recommendation by the country’s security council.
UK announces more military support for Ukraine
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday announced that the UK would be sending Ukraine more military support.
Johnson told the UK parliament: “In light of the increasingly threatening behaviour from Russia, and in line with our previous support, the UK will shortly be providing a further package of military support to Ukraine.”
“This will include lethal aid in the form of defensive weapons and non-lethal aid.”
Ukrainian parliament approves redistributing funds from any part of the budget for national security and defense
Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, voted to allow the redistribution of funds from any part of the state budget for national security and defense within three months.
—Верховна Рада України (@verkhovna_rada) February 23, 2022
Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Goncharenko confirmed the move in a tweet, saying all factions of the parliamentary body voted.
The EU reportedly plans to sanction Putin’s right-hand man and a notorious Russian troll farm
The EU is expected to announce sanctions against Russia later on Wednesday.
Diplomats told The Wall Street Journal the bloc plans to sanction Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and the Internet Research Agency, a notorious Russian troll farm.
Shoigu is understood to be one of the few people with influence over Putin, The New York Times previously reported. He called Ukrainian nationalists “nonhumans” last year.
The Internet Research Agency helped to spread online misinformation about the 2016 US presidential election, and it was charged by the special counsel Robert Mueller’s office with conspiring to interfere in the election.
China says sanctions over Ukraine are ineffective as Russia brushes them off
China said it won’t be joining the raft of countries sanctioning Russia.
Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China’s foreign ministry, said Wednesday: “The position of the Chinese government is that we believe that sanctions have never been a fundamental and effective way to solve problems, and China always opposes any illegal unilateral sanctions.”
Russia also downplayed sanctions from Western countries.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told the BBC: “Ukraine crisis or no Ukraine crisis, the West would have imposed more sanctions on Russia anyway to restrain our country.”
Russia’s embassy in London also claimed the UK’s sanctions were “illegal in terms of international law” and blamed “anti-Russian hysteria in the British media.”
Ukraine orders conscription of reserve troops
Ukraine’s armed forces said on Wednesday President Volodymyr Zelensky had signed a decree ordering the country’s military reserves.
It called up reservists aged 18 to 60, and said they would serve up to a year.
Zelensky said on Tuesday that he was calling up the country’s military reserves, but stopped short of a general mobilization, Reuters reported.
Zelensky said the government would work to “raise the preparedness of the Ukrainian army to all possible changes in the operational situation.”
Ukraine’s foreign minister calls for more sanctions against Russia
The US and UK announced harsh economic sanctions against Russia on Tuesday, and EU countries agreed on imposing a first round of sanctions.
Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, tweeted Wednesday: “To stop Putin from further aggression, we call on partners to impose more sanctions on Russia now. First decisive steps were taken yesterday, and we are grateful for them.
“Now the pressure needs to step up to stop Putin. Hit his economy and cronies. Hit more. Hit hard. Hit now.”Read Full Story
A bipartisan group of 43 lawmakers urges President Biden to get congressional approval before sending troops into Ukraine
Forty-three lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have signed a letter urging President Joe Biden to obtain approval from Congress before sending US troops to intervene in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
The letter, dated Tuesday, was signed by both progressive Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cori Bush and Trump-allied GOP representatives, including Matt Gaetz and Paul Gosar. The letter calls for Biden to abide by the Constitution and seek congressional authorization before having US troops “engage in hostilities.”
“We strongly urge your administration to respect the separation of powers, US law, and Congress’s constitutional war powers authority,” the letter read.
Ukraine’s Western neighbors are preparing for millions of possible refugees if Russia attacks
Central Europe is bracing for a possible migrant crisis as Ukraine’s Western neighbors make preparations to welcome millions of refugees in the event of a large-scale Russian invasion into Ukraine.
Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and the Czech Republic have all signaled that they are planning for a surge of incoming Ukrainians as the threat of a Russian attack looms large.
The United Nation’s refugee agency told Al Jazeera on Tuesday that it has not yet seen increasing numbers of fleeing Ukrainians, but called the ongoing situation “highly volatile.” Some estimates suggest as many as five million people could be displaced in a worst-case scenario, the outlet reported.
Video from Eastern Ukraine this week showed thousands of residents in the region evacuating to Russia over fears of impending war.
Blinken calls off meeting with Russian foreign minister
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that he is pulling out of his planned meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov after Russian President Vladimir Putin moved to recognize disputed Ukrainian territory and vowed to deploy more troops to the region.
Blinken said the US only planned to go forward with the meeting if Russia did not further invade Ukraine. He added that his decision does not foreclose diplomacy as a whole, vowing that the US and its allies would resume talks if Russia shows its seriousness about pursuing non-military options.
“Moscow needs to demonstrate that it’s serious. The last 24 hours it has demonstrated the opposite,” Blinken told reporters at a joint news conference with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. “If Moscow’s approach changes, I remain and we remain ready to engage.”
President Joe Biden called Putin’s recent actions the “beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine” after Russia recognized two breakaway territories in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region — Donetsk and Luhansk — as independent. Moscow later ordered troops it claimed were “peacekeepers” into the region.
Biden warns Russia that the US will ‘defend every inch of NATO territory’ and says he is moving US troops into the Baltics
President Joe Biden warned Russia that the US and its allies will “defend every inch of NATO territory” during an address on Russia’s recent actions toward Ukraine.
He also announced that some US forces will be headed to the Baltic states to bolster NATO positions in the east.
The president said Russia had effectively announced it was “carving out a big chunk of Ukraine” when it recognized two territories in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine — Donetsk and Luhansk — as independent states.
Biden warns Americans that domestic gas prices may rise amid new sanctions
President Joe Biden warned Americans that domestic gas prices could rise as the US launched a slew of sanctions against Russia.
“Defending freedom will have cost for us as well, and here at home,” Biden said during a Tuesday speech at the White House. “We need to be honest about that.”
He added: “I’m going to take robust action to make sure the pain of our sanctions is targeted at [the] Russian economy, not ours.”
According to the US Energy Information Administration, Russia’s economy is very dependent on oil and gas exports. Read Full Story
Biden announces new sanctions against Russia over Ukraine invasion
President Joe Biden announced sweeping sanctions against Russia over its recent occupation in Ukraine.
Biden said the US was imposing “full blocking sanctions” on two large Russian financial institutions — VEB and Russia’s military bank.
The sanctions also target Russia’s sovereign debt, with Biden saying the US has “cut off Russia’s government from Western financing.”
“It can no longer raise money from the West and can not trade in its new debt on our markets or European markets either,” Biden said. Russian oligarchs are also being targeted in the sanctions, Biden said.
The US president denounced Russia’s recognition of expansive borders sought by separatists in eastern Ukraine, calling the moves “the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.”
US embassy trolls Russia with meme after Putin’s revisionist history rant on why Ukraine is not a real country
The US embassy in Kyiv trolled Russia with a meme on Tuesday after President Vladimir Putin went on revisionist history tirade on why Ukraine is not a real country.
A photo posted to Twitter by the embassy shows four photos of religious sites in Kyiv from the years 996 to 1108. Underneath is four photos of a forest with “Moscow” written underneath, and marked with the same timeline.
The meme is a reference to a speech Putin gave on Monday where he claimed that Ukraine was a creation of the Soviet Union and part of Russia’s historic territory.
Putin backs all of rebels’ claims in eastern Ukraine, a possible lead-up to a major assault on Ukrainian defenders
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that he recognized Moscow-backed separatists’ full territorial claims to eastern Ukraine, marking a possible lead-up to a major assault on Ukrainian defenders.
Putin backed the separatists’ claims to the territory in the eastern province of Donbas where the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk are located, according to The Moscow Times.
“We recognized them. And this means that we recognized all their fundamental documents, including the constitution,” Putin said during a Tuesday evening press conference, according to a translation from The Moscow Times.
European Commission head says Russia ‘manufactured’ the crisis in Ukraine and is ‘responsible’ for its escalation
The European Commission president said Russia “manufactured” the crisis in Ukraine and is “responsible” for its latest escalation.
“Russia is not respecting its international obligations and it is violating core principles of international law,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at a press conference on Tuesday.
She added: “Russia has manufactured this crisis and is responsible for the current escalation.”
von der Leyen said the European Commission is working on finalizing a sanctions package.
Trump slams Biden’s ‘weak sanctions’ on Russia, despite previously suggesting that Russia’s past invasions weren’t a big deal
Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday criticized President Joe Biden’s initial sanctions on Russia and questioned whether Russian President Vladimir Putin would have ordered troops into Ukraine during his time in office.
“If properly handled, there was absolutely no reason that the situation currently happening in Ukraine should have happened at all,” Trump said in a statement. “I know Vladimir Putin very well, and he would have never done during the Trump Administration what he is doing now, no way!”
Trump also expressed outrage over Russia “taking over a country and a massive piece of strategically located land,” a stark contrast to some of his past comments that downplayed Russia’s occupation of Ukrainian territory.
White House says Russia has launched the ‘beginning of an invasion’ in Ukraine
The White House said Tuesday that Russia has launched the “beginning of an invasion” in Ukraine following Putin’s order to deploy troops to eastern regions of the country Monday.
“We think this is, yes, the beginning of an invasion, Russia’s latest invasion into Ukraine,” deputy national security advisor Jon Finer told CNN. He was referring to Russia moving so-called “peacekeepers” into separatist territories in eastern Ukraine that the Kremlin recognized as independent on Monday.
“I think ‘latest’ is important here,” Finer said. “An invasion is an invasion, and that is what is underway. But Russia has been invading Ukraine since 2014.”
“I don’t know how much more clear I can be,” he added. “This is the beginning of an invasion.”
Putin says Minsk accords, which were meant to end war in eastern Ukraine, no longer exist
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday that the Minsk peace agreements no longer “exist,” according to Russian state media.
The agreements sought to end the war in Eastern Ukraine.
“The Minsk agreements do not exist now,” he said, according to a translation from AFP, one day after he formally recognized the independence of two Moscow-backed separatist regions in eastern Ukraine and ordered troops there.
Putin calls for recognition of Crimea as part of Russia, among other demands
Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a number of demands on Tuesday, including the recognition of Crimea to be a part of Russia.
Putin also called for a halt to weapons shipments to Ukraine and an end to talks of Ukraine joining NATO, both long-standing Russian grievances.
Putin also baselessly claimed on Tuesday that Ukraine had the capacity to create nuclear weapons. The false claim comes as US officials have warned that Russia is seeking a pretext to invade Ukraine.
Ukraine was briefly the third-largest nuclear power in the world after the fall of the Soviet Union due to a large number of Soviet nukes left behind, NPR reported. However, in 1994, the country agreed to give up the nukes in exchange for the US, UK, and Russia guaranteeing its safety.
Ukraine has never produced its own nuclear weapons.
NATO chief says this is the ‘most dangerous’ moment in European security in a ‘generation’
NATO’s secretary general gave a warning Tuesday as the possibility for a Russian invasion of Ukraine looms over Europe.
“This is the most dangerous moment in European security for a generation,” Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference after President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops into eastern Ukraine on Monday.
“We urge Russia in the strongest possible terms to choose the path of diplomacy,” Stoltenberg added.
Russian lawmakers said Putin can use military force abroad
Russian lawmakers have given President Vladimir Putin the go-ahead to use military force abroad, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday.
The vote passed unanimously and formalizes a military deployment.
This move comes a day after Putin ordered troops into Eastern Ukraine as a “peacekeeping” operation and could be the precursor to an invasion.
Jen Psaki praises Germany for shutting down Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline over Russian invasion threat
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki commended Germany for shutting down the Nord Stream 2 pipeline after Russia sent troops to Ukraine.
“[Joe Biden] made clear that if Russia invaded Ukraine, we would act with Germany to ensure Nord Stream 2 does not move forward,” Psaki tweeted. “We have been in close consultations with Germany overnight and welcome their announcement.”
She added: “We will be following up with our own measures today.”
UK sanctions Russian banks, individuals
The UK announced sanctions against five
and three individuals on Tuesday in its first move to punish Russia for sending troops to Ukraine.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson called it the “first tranche, the first barrage” of sanctions over its aggression towards Ukraine.
The five banks are Rossiya, IS Bank, General Bank, Promsvyazbank, and the Black Sea Bank. Three individuals – Gennady Timchenko, Boris Rotenberg, and Igor Rotenberg – were also named.
Putin orders Russian troops to eastern Ukraine for ‘peacekeeping’ operation, a major escalation towards a war
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Eastern Ukraine on Monday as a “peacekeeping operation,” escalating the conflict between the two countries.
Putin signed a presidential decree allowing the “peacekeeping” after he decided to recognize Donetsk and Luhansk, two separatist territories that are loyal to Moscow, as independent states rather than a part of Ukraine.
Russia has been building up forces around Ukraine for months, while the US and its allies have warned Russia not to invade the country or face severe sanctions.
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