Ukraine Warns of ‘Major War in Europe’, Rebels Seek Russian Support: 10 Facts | world news
With Ukraine on edge amid invasion fears, Russia said rebel leaders had sought Kremlin support against what was described as “aggression by the Ukrainian Armed Forces”. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, meanwhile, pointed out that he had tried to reach out to Russian Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin could “start a major war in Europe”, he warned.
Here are ten latest developments on the Russian-Ukrainian crisis:
1. “Written requests were addressed to Russian President Vladimir Putin by Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of the Lugansk People’s Republic, and Denis Pushilin, the leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic,” the Kremlin spokesman said, Dmitri Peskov, quoted in reports. The rebel leaders thanked Russia, Peskov said, adding that “Kiev is continuing its military build-up in the direction of disengagement” and that “the republics are experiencing the destruction of civil and industrial infrastructure, schools, hospitals and garden gardens.” children”.
2. The President of Ukraine, in a moving speech, said that his country “is not a threat to Russia”. A few hours after the declaration of the national emergency, he underlined: “The Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian government want peace. But if the nation is attacked, we will fight back.
3. “There was no response, only silence,” Zelensky said of his attempts to reach out to Putin in his call to stop a “major war in Europe.”
4. Five explosions were heard early Thursday in the separatist-held city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, Reuters reported.
5. Cyberattacks reportedly continue in Ukraine as Russian troop numbers swell at borders. Researchers from cybersecurity firm ESET were quoted as saying by Reuters news agency that hundreds of computers were hit across the country by malware.
6. The European Union has announced sanctions against Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and military leaders, AFP news agency reported. Asset freezes and visa bans are among the sanctions imposed on Russian army, navy and air force commanders by the 27-nation bloc.
7. In growing support for the United Nations, countries – including China which has generally backed Russia – have defended Ukraine’s sovereignty. “Ukraine, you are not alone,” said Bulgarian Ambassador Lachezara Stoeva.
8. The United States has accused Russia and China of trying to create a “deeply illiberal world order”. “We believe that Russia and the PRC also want a world order. But it is an order that is and would be deeply illiberal, an order that contrasts with the system that countries around the world…have built over the past seven years. This is an order that is in many ways destructive rather than additive,” said US State Department spokesman Ned Price.
9. Tensions escalated earlier this week when Russia recognized rebel regions as independent in violation of the 2015 peace plan – a move that also allowed the Kremlin to allow troops into Ukraine.
10. What followed was a series of sanctions by nations across the world against Russia and global condemnation. Ukraine announced a 30-day emergency on Wednesday.
(With contributions from Reuters, PTI, AFP, AP).