The Russian parliament on Tuesday gave the green light for military action in Ukraine, condemning the country’s beginning of an invasion ‘, condemning US President Joe Biden and issuing the first sanctions against Moscow, similar to those of its Western allies.
Fears of a military expansion in Ukraine at the gates where 150,000 Russian troops are stationed, according to Washington, have peaked since Vladimir Putin on Monday recognized the independence of the separatist organizations Lukansk and Donetsk. East of this country.
In a speech to the nation, Joe Biden said 24 hours after his opponent’s major decision that the Russian president was “developing justifications to go further.” “There is still time to avoid the worst,” he added.
In Moscow, Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov read before the Senate a request by the Russian president to deploy troops in Donetsk and Lukansk on the basis that 60,000 (Ukrainian) military and heavy armored vehicles would be ready. To attack.
After obtaining the consent of the elected authorities, Mr. Putin again condemned Kiev’s abuses against Donbass’s separatists.
He questioned the timing of the deployment of the armed forces, calling for Ukraine’s “militarization” and saying it was “best” to abandon its ambition to join NATO to choose “neutral”.
“I’m not saying our players are going to go there now (…) it depends on the condition of the ground, as they say,” he said. Immediately, Russian diplomacy announced the expulsion of its ambassadors from Ukraine.
Mr. Putin claimed control of all administrative regions of Lukansk and Donetsk for separatists. He referred to the alleged “negotiations” between Kiev and pro-Russian forces.
Russian intervention will be legitimized by the ratification of mutual aid agreements on Tuesday, especially at the military level. Moscow has also established diplomatic relations with both regions.
– First Obstacles –
NATO expects a “massive offensive” from Russia in Ukraine, in the context of which its Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced.
Without waiting, the West launched the first blockade in response to the recognition of separatists who have been fighting in Kiev for eight years, killing more than 14,000 people.
The most dramatic move was announced by Berlin, which shut down the massive Nord Stream II gas pipeline project, which would bring even more Russian gas to Germany.
At the White House, Biden announced “first installment” sanctions aimed at preventing Moscow from raising Western funds to repay its sovereign debt.
They will target Russian banks and some “elites” in the country.
The European Union (EU) has endorsed a series of sanctions that “hurt Russia deeply,” as promised by its diplomatic leader, Joseph Borel.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced sanctions targeting three oligarchy groups close to the Kremlin and five Russian banks, with minimal measures for London, the financial stronghold of major Russian wealth.
He also said he was opposed to international matches in Russia, such as the Champions League football final scheduled for the end of May in St. Petersburg.
These measures are currently in moderation compared to the measures promised during a major invasion.
On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky called for “weapons” and said he was now considering guaranteeing EU membership and severing diplomatic ties with Moscow.
Kiev was accused of wanting to “revive the Soviet Union.”
– “No Fear” –
The Russian president, who commanded the tempo from the outset, maintains the mystery of his intentions and has several options before him: to occupy the whole of Ukraine, to expand the separatist-controlled territory, or to gain new negotiating status.
An aggression in a hostile country could be costly, and Russia wants to get its retreat in Eastern Europe and the end of its expansionist policy from NATO. Requirements that have so far been rejected.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov on Tuesday warned that “tough tests” and losses await Ukraine.
At night, President Zhelensky promised that the Ukrainians were “not afraid of anything or anyone” and would not give up “a part of the country.”
In the front row, gunfire erupted with separatists.
Kiev denies any offensive contrary to Moscow’s claims, accusing its opponents of spreading false information to justify the intervention.
In Shastia, residents of this small town near separatist areas were cleaning up the damage caused by bombs that fell the previous night in a residential area on Tuesday.
Valentyna Chmatkova, 59, was asleep when shells exploded, shattering the windows of her one-bedroom apartment. “We did not expect that. We do not think that in the end Ukraine and Russia will come to an agreement,” he laments.
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