Russia Orders Troops Into Eastern Ukraine
– [Reporter 1] Small crowds in Eastern Ukraine’s breakaway regions celebrated Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to recognize their independence on Monday.
– To recognize these territories which are on Ukraine side of the border as Russian territories that gives him a pretext to send in troops because the pro-Russian authorities in these two areas say that they feel like they’re under threat from the Kiev government and can Russia please protect them.
– [Reporter 1] Western authorities say Russia has massed as many as 190,000 troops around Ukraine.
Now Putin has ordered what he calls peacekeeping forces to enter the breakaway regions in response to what the Kremlin says: is aggression by Ukrainian forces.
Tanks were photographed in the city of Donetsk and witnesses said Russian military vehicles poured in early Tuesday. Local authorities didn’t immediately confirm the arrival of Russian troops.
– This is a major escalation because he’s sending Russian troops onto the territory of a sovereign country, that is Ukraine. It threatens to end the negotiations that have been going on for weeks now in Europe, aimed at trying to get him to de-escalate the situation at the border.
– [Reporter 1] Russia said it’s still open to diplomacy, but Putin’s move further complicated those efforts to find a solution and triggered a wave of condemnation among world leaders.
– This is plainly in breach of international law.
Russia should step back.
– [Reporter 1] Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy discussed the crisis with President Biden and addressed the nation.
– [Reporter 1] After Putin’s announcement, President Biden signed an executive order that will prohibit US investments and trade in the breakaway regions.
– So this is not the big salvo of sanctions that the US and Europe have been promising. Those could still come.
It’s limited, probably, because they wanna hold that stuff in their quiver. If President Putin decides to invade the rest of the country.
– [Reporter 1] The US Senates allies have threatened to unleash potentially crippling sanctions against Russia. Targeting its major banks, state companies, and key imports if it invades Ukraine.
– I think that we can expect to see more efforts at Hail Mary diplomacy. But on the other hand, we could see President Putin escalating further and sending troops into the rest of Ukraine and taking Kiev. Or we could also see the kind of cyber-attacks that the US Intelligence and the US Government has been expecting.