With a fiery speech, a stroke of pen and the maneuvering of the armed forces, the Ukraine conflict has entered a dangerous new chapter.
Late on Monday, after a day of events clearly orchestrated for maximum effect, the President of Russia, Vladimir V. Putin, delivered a meaningful speech to his people, most unpretentious description of what lies ahead.
Mr. Putin may not have told the Russian audience that his country intends to invade its neighbour, but something else has yet to be revealed.
Ukraine is a “country created by Russia,” he said. A crumbling Soviet Union, he said, was wrong to simply let it and the other republics go their separate ways. And now Ukraine is not just a “puppet” of the United States, its leaders are fully responsible for whatever “bloodshed” may come next.
“To those arrested and holding power in Kyiv,” he said, referring to the Ukrainian capital, “We demand that they immediately cease military action.”
It was a fiery speech. Next are the pens, held by the President of Russia and the self-proclaimed leaders of two breakaway republics in eastern Ukraine that Moscow has just announced recognizing its independence in a calculated provocation. for the West.
Mr. Putin signed a decree recognizing the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, established after Russia instigated a separatist war in eastern Ukraine in 2014. Putin also signed treaties of “friendship and friendship” mutual assistance” with these two countries.
Western observers warn there is almost no time to begin to speculate on whether Moscow could move troops to be stationed inside the territory of the two regions, seen by most of the rest of the world as one other parts of Ukraine, when the Kremlin announced that they were doing. indicates: Russian troops are on their way to eastern Ukraine.
Western leaders were surprised by the events of the day, if perhaps not so surprised. After all, in recent weeks, some 150,000-190,000 Russian troops have, by Western estimates, been slowly nodding around their neighbour, and the United States has warned many times that the question of an invasion Invasion is not if but when.
On Monday, a top White House official condemned Putin’s hour-long speech, calling it “an attack on the very idea of a sovereign and independent Ukraine.” .
European leaders condemned the decision to recognize the breakaway regions. The British foreign minister accused Moscow of “blatant disregard” of its commitments. And Ukraine asked the United Nations Security Council to hold an emergency meeting, which will take place late Monday night in New York.
White House officials say President Biden will impose economic sanctions on two breakaway regions of Ukraine and a further Western response will be announced on Tuesday – by which time Some of Biden’s aides said they expected to see Russian forces flood in. border with Ukraine, crossing the line that Mr. Biden has set to impose “swift and severe” sanctions on Moscow.
Video clips of military convoys moving through separatist territories went viral on social media overnight, but there was no immediate official confirmation that these were Russian troops, not forces. of the Russian-backed separatists.
President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, in a televised statement, called on Ukraine’s allies to act immediately and urged the Ukrainian people to remain calm.
“We are on our own land,” he said. “We’re not afraid of anything or anyone.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/22/world/europe/saying-russia-created-ukraine-putin-orders-troops-to-2-breakaway-regions.html Claiming that Russia “created” Ukraine, Putin ordered troops to be sent to two breakaway regions.