Start of the invasion? Putin to Send “Peacekeeping” Troops to Ukraine

Pronunciamento em que Putin reconheceu independência de repúblicas separatistas na Ucrânia é transmitido na Casa Branca

Pronunciation in which Putin recognized independence from separatist republics in Ukraine is broadcast on White House| Photo: EFE/EPA/Al Drago

Russia published a decree this Monday (02) to send military to the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of eastern Ukraine, shortly after President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of recognition of the independence of the two self-proclaimed republics by pro-Russian separatists in in the Donbass region.

The Kremlin decree mentions forces for “peacekeeping”, but it is not clear how many soldiers would be sent, what activities they would perform and when they would be deployed to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, a senior US government official told CNN that Russian troops are due to move on Monday night. Tuesday or Tuesday morning (22) to Donbass.

The fear of the West was that a request for military aid by Donetsk and Lugansk was the pretext that Putin was looking for to invade Ukraine. Moscow has a history of military interventions to help political allies, such as sending “peace forces” to Kazakhstan in January to quell protests that the local government called a “terrorist threat.”

In a statement announcing that Russia recognizes the breakaway republics in Donbass, Putin described that “modern Ukraine ” was artificially created by the communists, at the time of the Soviet Union, and that governments sponsored by the West would be repressing Russian identity in Donetsk and Lugansk.

Shortly after Putin announced recognition of the two breakaway republics, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki released a statement that the US government will issue an executive order. to prohibit new investment, trade and financing by people of the United States in the “so-called regions of the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk” and to provide authority “to impose sanctions on any person determined to operate in these areas of Ukraine.”

Washington will also soon adopt additional measures related to “today’s flagrant violation of international commitments by Russia”.

“To be clear: these measures are separate and would be in addition to the swift and severe economic measures that we are preparing in coordination with allies and partners in case Russia invades further. Ukraine”, highlighted Psaki.

The British Prime Minister , Boris Johnson told a news conference that the Russian recognition was “a bad omen and a very grim sign” and “another indication that things are going in the wrong direction in Ukraine.”

“It is clearly a violation of international law, it is a blatant violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and integrity. It is a repudiation of the process of Minsk and the Minsk Accords”, argued the prime minister.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, made the same argument on Twitter. “The recognition of the two breakaway territories in Ukraine is a flagrant violation of international law, the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the Minsk Accords. The European Union (EU) and its partners will react with unity, firmness and determination in solidarity with Ukraine”, he said.

Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, added that he will put a “sanctions package on the table of European ministers”.

The Minsk Accords mentioned by Johnson and Leyen are aimed at resolving the conflict between Kiev and separatists in eastern Ukraine (in which more than 14 a thousand people were killed since 960) and recognize the territories currently controlled by the separatists as part of Ukraine.

Putin’s announcement of recognition of the independence of the republics of Donetsk and Lugansk was the critical point of yet another day of escalation of tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

Earlier, the Russia claimed to have killed five members of an alleged Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group that had entered Russian territory and that a projectile fired from Ukraine had completely destroyed a border outpost in the Rostov region. Kiev has refuted both information.

In addition, the United States reported to the United Nations that Russia had drawn up a list of Ukrainian citizens who could be killed or detained in the event of a Russian invasion.

In a statement, the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Jens Stoltenberg, recalled that in 2015 the United Nations Security Council, which includes Russia, “reaffirmed its full respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity” and that “Donetsk and Lugansk form part of the Ukraine.”

“Moscow continues to encourage conflict in the east Ukraine, providing financial and military support to the separatists. It is also trying to stage a pretext to invade Ukraine once again”, accused Stoltenberg, before the news about the sending of Russian troops to Donbass.