This is a full-scale invasion – says Ukraine’s president as Russia launches attacks

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Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of the military operation in eastern Ukraine via video link from in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday. Photo: Russian Pool/Reuters TV/Supplied
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of the military operation in eastern Ukraine via video link from in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday. Photo: Russian Pool/Reuters TV/Supplied

NEWS


Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Thursday a special military in Ukraine’s Donbas region during a live broadcast.

For months, Putin has denied that he was planning an attack on Ukraine even though the Russian military had placed more than 200 000 troops on the border with Ukraine.

Putin said that he was sending troops into two rebel held regions in Ukraine, for peacekeeping reasons. UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned against such a move.

Ukraine
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses an emergency meeting of the Security Council after Russia invade Ukraine on Wednesday, a day before Russia invaded Ukraine. He deplored Russia's actions towards the country and plead for diplomacy. Photo: UNTV via AP

Reports by the BBC on Thursday claimed that Putin had ordered the invasion of Ukraine after the nation moved to join EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato).

The Russian president previously demanded that Ukraine become a neutral state and not join Nato, an intergovernmental military alliance of 30 nations.

READ: Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know as Russia authorises special military operation

The Ukraine has described Putin’s move as a full-scale invasion. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has since imposed martial law across the country.

Russia
A screenshot made available by Flightradar24.com shows the clear airspace over Ukraine on Thursday, not long after Russian troops launched their anticipated attack on Ukraine. Photo: Flightradar24.com via AP
Ukraine
Police officers inspect the remains of a missile that fell in the street, after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorised a military operation in eastern Ukraine on Thursday. Photo: Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko

Zelensky said: “No panic. We’re strong. We’re ready for anything. We’ll defeat everyone, because we are Ukraine.”

The UK, the US and other allies have imposed sanctions on Russia as a result of its action.

US sanctions include:

  • Restrictions on US deals involving Russia’s national debt;
  • Restrictions on Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs and Promsvyazbank, a bank owned by oligarchs Dmitry Ananyev and his brother Alexei Ananyev, along with 42 of their subsidiaries from doing business in the US or access its financial system; and
  • Americans are now banned from doing business in Luhansk and Donetsk.

The UK sanctions include a travel ban imposed on three Russian billionaires and a freezing of Russian banks assets.

The EU is limiting Russia’s access to European capital markets. It has also put sanctions on 27 Russian banks, organisations and individuals.

Reuters however reports that the new sanctions could prompt Russia to try to deepen its non-dollar denominated trade ties with Beijing in China in an effort to skirt the restrictions.


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Sthembiso Lebuso 

Journalist

+27 11 713 9001
Sthembiso.Lebuso@citypress.co.za
www.citypress.co.za
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park


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