The latest news on the Ukraine-Russia crisis: live updates

MOSCOW — A tough global response to Russian President Vladimir V. Putin’s moves against Ukraine began to take shape on Tuesday as European...


MOSCOW — A tough global response to Russian President Vladimir V. Putin’s moves against Ukraine began to take shape on Tuesday as European nations and the United States prepared to impose sanctions and Germany halted a key gas pipeline, but the Russian leader has remained defiant in the face of global condemnation.

One day after Mr Putin recognized two separatist territories in eastern Ukraine as independent, two European officials said on Tuesday that Russia had sent troops to the region, but the Russian Foreign Ministry denied having done so yet.

Early Tuesday morning, Jon Finer, deputy national security adviser to Mr. Biden, said Russian forces had begun to enter Ukraine, telling CNN that “an invasion is an invasion, and that’s what’s going on.”

Fearful Ukrainians boarded buses out of breakaway areas even as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged his beleaguered nation to “keep a cool head” in the crisis.

But at the same time, Mr Zelensky insisted that Ukraine would not cede territory, and his defense minister, Oleksiy Reznikov, appeared to be preparing his country’s troops for battle.

“A difficult trial awaits us,” Reznikov said in a grim message released by the military. “There will be losses. You will have to go through pain and overcome fear and discouragement.

Still, there were no immediate signs of a major military escalation in eastern Ukraine, and much of the attention on Tuesday was focused on European capitals, where leaders were preparing what they said was a set of severe sanctions against Moscow. US and EU leaders on Monday condemned Putin’s decision to recognize breakaway regions, the so-called people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk created after Russia fomented a separatist war in eastern Ukraine in 2014 .

The Biden administration on Tuesday morning was discuss the sanctions to be unleashed against Mr. Putin, his associates and the Russian financial system. The United States faces a difficult task, both trying to make it clear that Mr. Putin’s actions in eastern Ukraine will not go unpunished while leaving open the possibility of imposing new sanctions if Mr. Putin was attacking the rest of the country.

The UK government has said it will sanction members of the Russian parliament who voted to recognize the independence of breakaway areas and create legislation ensuring that no UK individual or company can do business with them. Donetsk and Luhansk.

In Moscow, Mr Putin dismissed what he described as speculation that Moscow was planning to “recreate the Russian empire within the borders of the empire”.

“That absolutely does not correspond to reality,” Putin said in televised remarks alongside President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic with close ties to Ukraine and Russia.

A day earlier, Mr. Putin gave a long, fiery speech that described Ukraine as part of Russia, calling the government in Kiev a “puppet” of the United States and its leaders solely responsible for any “bath of blood” that might follow. .

“As for those who have captured and maintain power in Kiev,” he said, referring to the Ukrainian capital, “we demand that they cease all military action immediately.”

In recent weeks, some 150,000 to 190,000 Russian troops, according to Western estimates, have gradually drawn a noose around their neighbor, and the United States has repeatedly warned that the question of a Russian invasion is not not if but when.

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said on Twitter that “Russia’s decision to recognize ‘independence’ of so-called republics controlled by its own proxies is a predictable and shameful act”. He added that he had told Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba that the United States condemned the actions in the “strongest possible terms”.

At an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Monday evening, several nations chastised Russia, saying the move amounted to a violation of the UN Charter and an attack on Ukraine’s sovereignty. . Although the meeting ended without any action being taken, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said the council members had “sent a unified message – that Russia should not trigger the war”.



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Newsrust - US Top News: The latest news on the Ukraine-Russia crisis: live updates
The latest news on the Ukraine-Russia crisis: live updates
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