Is Russia invading Ukraine? Biden says so

US President Joe Biden announces new sanctions on Russia in response to its perceived invasion of Ukraine. Credit: CBS | YouTube

US President Joe Biden has called out Russia’s Vladimir Putin for claiming two sections of land in eastern Ukraine under the guise of new “sovereign” states and for sending so called peacekeeping troops to the region.

In a televised statement on Monday, Putin confirmed his recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk — 2 breakaway areas in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine already controlled by Russian-backed separatists — and announced the deployment of Russian troops to the regions as a “peacekeeping” mission.

“This is the beginning of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine.”

Putin may soon find that although Biden stutters softly, he carries a big stick. On Tuesday, Biden responded by announcing new sanctions more detrimental than the ones it implemented after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014.

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“Who in the Lord’s name does Putin think gives him the right to declare new so called countries on territory that belonged to his neighbours?

“This is a flagrant violation of international law and demands a firm response from the international community.”

The “first tranche” of Russian sanctions will be imposed on Russian sovereign debt and two large financial institutions — VEB and its military bank — as well as Russian elites and their families. He said the sanctions would stop Western finance from reaching Russia’s government.

“Russia has now undeniably moved against Ukraine by declaring these independent states.”

In response to Russia’s refusal to remove its troops from Belarus, Biden also announced he was relocating additional troops and equipment already stationed in Europe to its allies along NATO’s eastern edge and in the Baltic states.

He said the move is not intended to fight Russia, but to provide defensive assistance to Ukraine and reinforce US allies.

“When all is said and done, we’re going to judge Russia by its actions, not its words.”

Even at this point, Biden has still not ruled out the possibility of diplomacy, saying the US and its allies remain open to talks with with Russia that would avoid war — “if it is serious.”

SOURCES: CNN | CBS | White House

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Jay Shine

A longtime expat in Asia with a degree in journalism and creative writing. Highlights include writing for Condé Nast Traveller and Apple Music. In his spare time, Jay enjoys writing poetry, brewing traditional Chinese tea and lounging with his calico soi cat, Almond.

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