Russia: Putin sparks concerns among citizens with 'angry' Ukraine rambling
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Boris Johnson said the UK will work to ensure that “Putin should fail” if he carries out a full-scale invasion of Kiev, “which is what he seems to be proposing to do”. Mr Johnson told broadcasters that the UK will continue diplomatic efforts to avert violence. But he warned: “I just want everybody to be in no doubt that if Vladimir Putin continues down this track of violence, of aggression, of a full-scale invasion, of encircling Kiev itself which is what he seems to be proposing to do, capturing the Ukrainian capital, it is absolutely vital that that effort, that conquest of another European country, should not succeed and that Putin should fail.”
He added that the “first barrage of UK economic sanctions against Russia” will be revealed on Tuesday as he warned Vladimir Putin is bent on a “full-scale invasion of Ukraine”.
After hosting an emergency Cobra meeting, Mr Johnson said: “This is I should stress just the first barrage of UK economic sanctions against Russia because we expect I’m afraid that there is more Russian irrational behaviour to come.
“I’m afraid all the evidence is that President Putin is indeed bent on a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the overrunning, the subjugation of an independent, sovereign European country and I think, let’s be absolutely clear, that will be absolutely catastrophic.”
Mr Johnson is expected to present his plan for further sanctions on Russia to the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon, less than a day after Russia deployed troops to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.
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President Putin signed a decree on Monday recognising the independence of the two regions that officially remain part of Ukraine despite years of furious fighting.
Putin ordered his defence ministry to despatch Russian forces to “perform peacekeeping functions” in eastern Ukraine’s two breakaway regions.
He earlier signed decrees to recognise the two breakaway regions despite Western warnings that such a step would be illegal and effectively kill long-running peace talks.
Kiev said two soldiers were killed and 12 wounded in shelling by pro-Russian separatists in the east in the past 24 hours as ceasefire violations increased.
Ukraine: Russian military vehicles filmed entering Donetsk
Fears of war expanded past Western countries, with China admitting to being concerned about the spiraling situation, calling on all parties to exercise restraint.
And Japan said it was ready to join international sanctions on Moscow in the event of a full-scale invasion.
Russian UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia warned Western powers to “think twice” and not worsen the situation.
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A Reuters witness saw tanks and other military hardware passing through Donetsk on Monday hours. No insignia were visible on the vehicles.
Kiev’s military said on its Facebook page it had recorded 84 cases of shelling by separatists who it said had opened fire on about 40 settlements along the front line with heavy artillery, in breach of ceasefire agreements.
Moscow has continued to deny plan to attack its neighbour, but troops have been amassed on Ukraine’s borders for months, threatening “military-technical” action unless it receives sweeping security guarantees, including a promise that Ukraine will never join NATO.
A senior US official said the deployment of Russian troops to the breakaway enclaves did not merit the harshest sanctions the United States and its allies had prepared in the event of a full-scale invasion, as Russia already had troops there.
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