The news from Ukraine is not looking too damn positive…..
Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops into eastern Ukraine early Tuesday local time—hours after he declared that Moscow was recognizing two breakaway territories in the country’s east as independent states. Putin ordered Russia’s defense ministry to send troops to Luhansk and Donetsk for “peacekeeping operations,” the Guardian reports. It’s not clear when Russian troops will enter the two territories, which declared themselves “people’s republics” in 2014 but were not recognized by any country until Putin’s move Monday, reports the AP.
It’s also unclear whether the Russian troops will remain in areas held by Russian-backed separatists or whether they will move into parts of the territories claimed by rebels but still under the control of the Ukrainian government, the New York Times reports. In a speech recognizing the two republics, Putin said Ukraine is a historic part of Russia that “never had a tradition of genuine statehood,” Al Jazeera reports. “Modern-day Ukraine was in full and in whole created by Russia, Bolshevik, Communist Russia,” he said.
In his speech, Putin slammed the US and NATO for trying to “blackmail” his country. “Russia has every right to take retaliatory measures to ensure its own security,” he said. “That is exactly what we will do.” After Putin announced the recognition of the two breakaway regions, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Biden plans to introduce new sanctions related to the territories, which will be separate from the sanctions to come in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, reports Reuters.
Then the tit for tat from the US……
The US stands with Ukraine in condemning Russia’s recognition of two breakaway territories in eastern Ukraine as independent states, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday after a day of fast-moving—and alarming—developments in the crisis. The Kremlin’s “recognition of the so-called ‘Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics’ as “independent” requires a swift and firm response, and we will take appropriate steps in coordination with partners,” Blinken tweeted. He said Vladimir Putin’s move was a “complete rejection of Russia’s commitments” under the Minsk accords that were intended to end the separatist conflict, the Washington Post reports.
“States have an obligation not to recognize a new ‘state’ created through the threat or use of force, as well as an obligation not to disrupt another state’s borders,” Blinken said. “Russia’s decision is yet another example of President Putin’s flagrant disrespect for international law and norms.” Hours after he confirmed the recognition in a speech that described Ukraine as an American colony with no history as a real country, Putin signed a decree to send Russian troops to the two territories as “peacekeepers.” In a statement, the White House said President Biden had spoken to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky to “reaffirm the commitment of the United States to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Biden told Zelensky that the US would “respond swiftly and decisively, in lock-step with its Allies and partners, to further Russian aggression against Ukraine,” the statement said. The White House said Biden had spoken to French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to discuss a coordinated response. In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the recognition of the breakaway as a “very dark sign,” the BBC reports. Liz Truss, the UK’s foreign secretary, said Britain will coordinate with the EU to “deliver swift sanctions against Putin’s regime and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Ukraine.”
Now is the time for some calmer heads to prevail……
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