By Chris King • 21 February 2022 • 23:49
Photo of a Russian Rostov tank.
Image: Russian Armed Forces
Russian troops have this evening, Monday, February 21, been ordered into Ukraine by President Vladimir Putin. Earlier today Putin had announced his recognition of the Eastern states of Donetsk and Lugansk as now being independent of Ukraine after he signed a decree.
These two breakaway rebel pro-Russian regions of Ukraine are calling themselves the Donetsk People’s Republic, and the Lugansk People’s Republic.
Troops are allegedly being despatched into the country on a ‘peacekeeping mission’. There was no immediate statement from Moscow, only that Putin’s order ‘comes into force from the day it was signed’.
With this action, the Russian President has broken the terms of the Minsk peace agreements. He could now sign treaties with the leaders of these two states, which would entitle him to legitimately deploy his military forces into the regions, under the pretext of protecting them from ant Ukrainian threat.
Diplomatic options remaining on the table are now close to zero, after the ceasefire brokered in theDonbas region by both France and Germany seven years ago has gone out of the window.
According to Kremlin sources, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and French President Emmanuel Macron, had both called the President to express their ‘disappointment’ at his decision.
British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson called Putin’s move a breach of international law. He added that this was an ‘ill omen’, and a ‘dark sign’ of things to come. Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary announced she would be imposing fresh sanctions on Russia, as did top officials in the EU.
Jens Stoltenberg, the chief of NATO, accused Putin of ‘trying to stage a pretext to invade Ukraine yet again’.
Ukraine’s defence minister, Dymtro Kuleba, after finishing a council meeting, tweeted, ‘We all should calmly focus on de-escalation efforts, there is no other way’. He added that the whole world will now have their eyes on Putin’s next move.
Ukrainian national police reported that in a shelling attack earlier today on the village of Zaitseve, two soldiers had been killed, and three wounded, as reported by dailymail.co.uk.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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