Putin sends forces to eastern Ukraine, lawmakers allow use of force outside Russia – World

Russian lawmakers on Tuesday gave President Vladimir Putin permission to use military force abroad, a move that could herald a widespread attack on Ukraine after some European leaders said troops had already moved into rebel-held areas.

The US has already said an invasion is underway there.

Members of the Russian Senate, the Federal Council, unanimously decided to allow President Putin to use military force outside Russia, effectively formalizing the deployment of Russian troops in rebel areas where nearly 14,000 people were killed in an eight-year civil war.

Several European leaders said Russian troops had moved into rebel-held areas in eastern Ukraine after Putin recognized independence. However, it was unclear how large the movement was.

After recognizing two segregated areas in eastern Ukraine on Monday as independent areas, Putin ordered the deployment of troops there.

all Reuters Witnesses saw tanks and other military equipment passing through the separatist-controlled city of Donetsk after Putin officially recognized the secession zone and ordered the deployment of Russian troops to “keep the peace.”

About five tanks could be seen on poles on the edge of Donetsk, and two were found in other parts of the city. Reuters said the reporter. There were no markings on the vehicle.

Ukraine and its Western allies say Russian forces have been fighting in the area since separatist conflicts broke out in 2014. Moscow denies these claims.

White House ‘aggression’ by deploying Russian troops

The White House began referring to the deployment of Russian troops as aggression in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday after President Joe Biden was hesitant to use the term “red line” when he said the US would impose harsher sanctions on Moscow.

National Security Adviser Jon Finer said: “We consider this to be the beginning of the invasion, which is Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine.” interview on CNN. “Aggression is an invasion and that’s what’s going on.”

According to a South Korean US official who discussed internal discussions on the condition of anonymity, the White House began to view Russia’s actions as aggression in light of the local situation.

The administration initially refused to demand the deployment of the military because the White House wanted to see what Russia would actually do. An evaluation of the Russian military’s movements made it clear that it was a new invasion, the official added.

White House Press Secretary Jen Saki also commented on German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s decision to shut down the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in response to Russia’s actions, referring to Russia’s actions as aggression.

“The President of the United States has made it clear that if Russia invades Ukraine, we will act with Germany to ensure that Nord Stream 2 does not move forward,” Psaki said.

Putin admits rebel territory

The Western powers have been preparing for aggression for weeks as Russia gathers some 150,000 troops on three sides of neighboring Ukraine. They warned that the attack would cause massive casualties, energy shortages in Europe and economic chaos around the world, and promised swift and strong sanctions if realized. The European Union and the UK announced on Tuesday that some of these measures would come.

Western leaders have long warned that Moscow will seek cover for an invasion, and that pretext appeared to come on Monday, when Putin recognized two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine. More than 14,000 people.

The Kremlin then raised its stake on Tuesday by saying that recognition would extend to a large part now held by Ukrainian forces.

Kremlin spokeswoman Dmitry Peskov said Russia recognized the independence of rebel regions on the borders that existed when it declared independence in 2014.

Putin’s move to recognize the territory’s independence gave Putin an opportunity to formalize the territory and send troops, but Ukraine and its Western allies have accused Russian troops of fighting there for years. Moscow denies these claims.

Worldwide condemnation of Russia’s move was swift.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said he would consider cutting off diplomatic ties with Russia, and Kiev recalled Ukraine’s ambassador to Moscow.

However, confusion about what exactly is happening in eastern Ukraine is jeopardizing the West’s response. The United States articulated this as an invasion, but some other allies hedged it.

EU foreign policy director Joseph Borrell said in Paris that “Russian forces have entered Donbas, the name of the region where two separatist regions are located.” “We consider Donbas to be part of Ukraine.”

But in a distinction that could complicate European and Western reactions, he added: [it is] “It’s a full-scale invasion, but the Russian army is on Ukrainian soil,” he said.

Poland’s Defense Ministry and British Health Minister Sajid Zavid said Russian forces have entered eastern Ukraine, Zavid said. Sky News “The invasion of Ukraine has begun”

Not everyone in Europe saw it that way. Spain’s foreign minister, Jose Manuel Alvarez, said: “If Russia uses force against Ukraine, it will impose huge sanctions.”

The Kremlin has not confirmed the deployment of troops to the rebels’ east, saying it will depend on security conditions. Vladislav Brig, a member of Donetsk’s separatist regional council, told reporters that Russian troops had already advanced, but senior rebel leaders did not confirm it.

Late on Monday, a convoy of armored vehicles was seen rolling across separatist-controlled areas. It was not immediately clear if they were Russian.

In response to the move so far, senior EU officials are prepared to impose sanctions on several Russian officials and banks that the EU finances the Russian military, and to restrict Moscow’s access to EU capital and financial markets. said to be done. They provided some details.

EU foreign ministers are scheduled to hold a meeting late Tuesday to discuss countermeasures, but they do not appear to include the hefty penalties they have repeatedly promised for a full-scale invasion.

sanctions warning

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said the UK would impose sanctions on five Russian banks and three wealthy people.

He said Russian tanks had already entered eastern Ukraine, warning that an all-out attack would bring “stronger sanctions”.

The White House has also moved in response, issuing an executive order banning US investment and trade in separatist areas, with further measures (possibly sanctions) due to be announced on Tuesday. These sanctions are separate from what the U.S. has prepared for a Russian invasion, according to a senior administration official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.

Russia’s move has also put pressure on Germany to halt the certification process for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that imports natural gas from Russia. The pipeline was built to help meet energy demand, especially as Germany shut down its last three nuclear power plants and phase out coal use, and resisted calls from the US and other countries to halt the project.

A bill has passed the Russian parliament that will likely pave the way for a deeper move into Ukrainian territory as world leaders rush to decide their response.

A bill quickly passed by the Kremlin-controlled parliament included military ties between Moscow and the separatist region, including the placement of Russian military bases in the separatist region.

read: echoes of the cold war

Despite the warning spread around the world, Ukrainian President Zelensky told the President of Ukraine in an overnight speech: “We are not afraid of anyone or anything. We owe nothing to anyone. And we will not give anything to anyone.”

The State Department said Foreign Secretary Dmitro Kuleva will visit Washington on Tuesday to meet with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

Russia has long denied that it has plans to invade Ukraine, instead blaming the United States and its allies for the current crisis and portraying NATO membership as an existential challenge to Russia.

Putin reiterated these accusations in a one-hour TV address on Monday, announcing that Russia would recognize rebels.

“Ukraine’s accession to NATO poses a direct threat to Russian security,” he said.

Russia says it wants a guarantee from the West that NATO will not allow Ukraine and other former Soviet countries to join as members. Moscow also demanded that the allies stop deploying arms against Ukraine and withdraw troops from Eastern Europe, but the West flatly refused.

Putin has warned that the West’s refusal to comply with Moscow’s demands warrants Russia’s right to take other measures to protect its security.