Russia said Five of Kiev’s soldiers were killed and two combat vehicles were destroyed in the firefight, according to Russia’s version of events
RT – A Ukrainian soldier who was allegedly trying to cross over into Russia from the other side of the shared border has been captured and is being held prisoner, the chief of the country’s security forces has claimed.
Speaking at a security council meeting on Monday, FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov said that two sabotage groups had entered Russian territory from the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic earlier in the day.
He added that they had both been destroyed “as a result of the battle by our border guards and the Russian defense ministry.” According to Bortnikov, the situation on the border is now stable and under control.
Earlier on Monday, Russia’s Southern Military District said that it had thwarted a Ukrainian sabotage and renaissance group from violating the country’s border. Five of Kiev’s soldiers were killed and two combat vehicles were destroyed in the firefight, according to Russia’s version of events. read more
Russian guard post on Ukraine border hit by artillery shell – Moscow
RT – The incident comes amid reports of heavy shelling along the Donbass contact line
A guard post along the border between Russia and Ukraine has been hit by a projectile launched from across the frontier, the country’s top security agency has reported, amid a worsening military standoff in the neighboring Donbass region.
In a statement released on Monday, officials from the FSB’s press service announced that “on February 21, at 9:50 AM, a shell of an unknown type, fired from Ukrainian territory, completely destroyed the place of work of guards from the border department of Russia’s Federal Security Service in the Rostov region. More
Heavy shelling reported in eastern Ukraine
RT – Breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk claim Kiev is pounding their positions with heavy artillery
The self-proclaimed republics in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine have accused Kiev’s forces of ramping up attacks on their positions on Sunday night.
Territory controlled by the breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the neighboring Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) has reportedly been subjected to heavy artillery fire during the day.
The source for the information is local officials, and RT is unable to independently corroborate their assertions.
The attacks have allegedly intensified in the evening, according to videos circulating online.. Read More
US tells citizens in Russia to prepare ‘evacuation plans’
The embassy has warned Americans of potential “attacks” in Moscow and St. Petersburg, advising them to prepare to leave with no assistance
The US’ diplomatic mission to Russia warned on Sunday about potential “attacks” on hotels, metro stations, and other targets in Russia’s major cities. The US attributed these claims to unspecified “media sources,” and warned US citizens to prepare “evacuation plans,” but Russia’s Foreign Ministry has questioned Washington’s alert.
“According to media sources, there have been threats of attacks against shopping centers, railway and metro stations, and other public gathering places in major urban areas, including Moscow and St. Petersburg,” a message from the US’ mission in Russia read. In addition to the supposed threat, the alert warned Americans of “heightened tension along the Russian border with Ukraine.” Read More
Russian President Putin Addresses Nation Following Security Council Meeting on Donbass
American Embassy in Moscow is no longer safe – ambassador
The safety of the American Embassy in Moscow is severely threatened by restrictions imposed on diplomats by the Russian authorities, the US ambassador claimed on Sunday.
Speaking to Politico, John Sullivan complained that the diplomatic mission has serious maintenance problems due to a lack of personnel.
“If the expulsions by the Russian government continue, it will be very difficult to continue to function safely as an embassy,” Sullivan claimed.
“My biggest concern is that our infrastructure is aging, and important systems need to be maintained or replaced, and we can’t get visas from the Russian government for trained personnel to do the work,” he continued. read More
”US intelligence” says Russian commanders have received orders to invade Ukraine.
Ukraine reveals cost of invasion fears, Kiev is losing up to $3 billion a month due to worries of an impending attack
Ukraine’s economy has taken a huge economic hit due to growing panic about a potential invasion by Russia, a senior official in Kiev declared on Monday.
Speaking to RBK-Ukraine, Rostislav Shurma alleged that statements from the West that Russia is preparing a full-blown invasion are crippling Ukraine financially, with losses amounting to between two and three billion dollars per month since January,
Shurma is the deputy head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office.
“We see that irretrievable losses amount to two to three billion dollars a month,” the official explained. “These are stopped investments, and additional inflation, losses in the tourism sector, and a reduction in air travel. There is also speculative pressure on financial markets, which blocks borrowing and puts pressure on the exchange rate.” Read More
Russian markets crashed amid escalating tensions in eastern Ukraine
Russia’s financial markets and the ruble crashed on Monday on news of a military escalation on the Russian-Ukrainian border and the worsening standoff along the contact line in the breakaway Donbass region in Ukraine.
The Russian military has reported that its troops opened fire on a “Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group” that attempted to cross into the country, killing five servicemen.
Earlier, officials in the self-declared breakaway republic of Donetsk reportedly called on Moscow to send urgent help amid a worsening standoff across the contact line.
The dollar-denominated RTS index of leading Russian stocks nosedived 10% while the ruble-based MOEX benchmark slid 7.8% to 3,129 points…. Read More
Deport ‘extremist’ migrants immediately – Putin
Non-citizens who respect the country’s values, culture, and laws are still welcome, the Russian president has said
Foreigners in Russia who support terrorist or extremist causes should be immediately booted out of the country, President Vladimir Putin has said after Moscow hinted that it was considering the possibility of giving citizens found guilty of serious violations deportation orders.
Speaking on Thursday at the board of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Russian leader set out his stance on how people who have immigrated to his country should be penalized for grave crimes.
According to Putin, everyone who comes to Russia to live, study, and work, while respecting the law of the land, its culture, and traditions, is welcome. “These foreign citizens, and especially our compatriots coming from abroad, should be able to freely and, without bureaucratic delays, arrange all necessary documents,” he explained… Read More
US Senate passes Ukraine support resolution
The symbolic gesture comes as a sanctions bill against Russia has failed to make progress
The US Senate has published a bipartisan but nonbinding statement expressing support for Ukraine and warning Russia not to invade the Eastern European nation, days after proposed legislation that would have sanctioned Moscow in the event of an attack hit an impasse.
Lawmakers signed off on the resolution on Thursday, writing that the Senate “commends the courage, resolve, and restraint shown by the Ukrainian people in their pursuit of sovereignty and democracy, and pays tribute to the many men and women who gave their lives in pursuit of a free and democratic Ukraine.”
The document also “reaffirms unwavering US support for a secure, democratic, and independent Ukraine, free to choose its own leaders and future.”
The resolution, which was passed unanimously but does not carry the force of law, also “denounces the Russian military buildup” on Ukraine’s border and encourages US President Joe Biden to impose “significant costs” on Russia and “restore peace in Europe.” It clarifies that this is not meant as an authorization for the use of American forces in Ukraine…. Read More
Red Cross: Donbass Population Facing Severe Economic Impact of Conflict in Region
MOSCOW, February 21 (Sputnik), Ksenia Shakalova – The ongoing fighting the breakaway Donbass region has undermined the population’s economic situation, which is further aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as restrictions for crossing the line of contact, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation in Kiev said.
“In the Donbass, in addition to the devastating consequences of the conflict, the population faces severe economic hardship as livelihoods have been ruptured, jobs lost, markets disintegrated. Covid-19 and restrictions for crossing the line of contact have added to that, in particular for thousands of older persons who can no longer access their pensions. This makes life really difficult for so many,” the delegation said.
Since April 2014, the Ukrainian government has been conducting a military operation against the self-declared republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, which refused to recognize the new central government, which came to power after what they considered a coup.
The situation in Donbas has escalated in recent days, with the self-proclaimed republics reporting increased shelling by Ukrainian forces and ordering general mobilization in the anticipation of an offensive by the Ukrainian army. The evacuation of Donbass citizens, first of all women, children and the elderly, to the Rostov region began late last week.
Donbass republics call on Putin to recognize their independence
The request comes amid fears of a worsening military standoff in Eastern Ukraine
The leaders of Ukraine’s two self-declared breakaway republics have appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin, requesting that Moscow recognize the separatist regions as independent states.
Speaking in an address on Monday, the head of the self-declared Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), Leonid Pasechnik, appealed to Putin, insisting that Moscow’s affirmation of their sovereignty will help avoid mass deaths of local residents, of which 300,000 are said to be ethnic Russians.
Pasechnik said that “I ask you to recognize the sovereignty and independence of the Lugansk People’s Republic. I also ask you to consider the possibility of concluding a friendship and cooperation agreement between the LPR and the Russian Federation, including cooperation in defense,” he said Monday on the Russia-24 television channel… Read More
Putin orders Russian armed forces to enter rebel territories in eastern #Ukraine for “peacekeeping operations.”
Artillery Explosions Heard to the North of Lugansk, Sputnik Correspondent Says
More Explosions Heard in Outskirts of Lugansk, Sputnik Correspondent Says
Putin Talks on the Phone With Macron and Scholz, Tells Them He Intends to Sign a Decree on Donbass Shortly
1.2 Million of Donbass Residents Have Applied for Russian Citizenship, Speaker of State Duma Volodin Says
The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) announced the evacuation of their citizens to Russia on 18 February amid an escalation on the contact line between Ukraine and the DPR and LPR, as Kiev forces intensified shelling of the Donbass region.Kiev forces continued shelling the territories of the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Lugansk and Donetsk (LPR and DPR) on Monday, according to statements made by the breakaway republics’ missions to the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination on the ceasefire regime (JCCC).The shelling comes against the background of the ongoing evacuation of Donbass civilians to Russia which started on 18 February amid fears of an attack by Ukrainian forces.Around 61,000 residents of the LPR and DPR have crossed the border into Russia as part of evacuation amid escalation in eastern Ukraine.
Putin signs ‘immediate’ recognition of Donbass regions
The decision comes amid fears of a worsening conflict in Ukraine’s war-torn east
Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that Moscow has recognized the two self-declared breakaway Donbass republics in Ukraine’s east as sovereign nations, as a military standoff across the contact line continues to escalate.
Speaking as part of a televised address to the nation on Monday evening, Putin signed the decree, saying that “I deem it necessary to make a decision that should have been made a long time ago to immediately recognize the Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR) People’s Republics.” Lawmakers will now be asked to consider statements of friendship and support with the two regions.
The move, he said, was a direct result of the failure of the 2014 Minsk agreements, designed to put an end to fighting. “They are not interested in peaceful solutions – they want to start Blitzkreig,” he claimed. “Every day they are amassing troops in the Donbass,” Putin went on.
Biden Reportedly Meeting With His National Security Team to Discuss Ukraine Crisis
US President Joe Biden is holding a meeting with the national security team on the situation in Ukraine, Reuters reported, citing a White House official.
Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a large meeting of the Russian Security Council, whose members agreed on the need to recognize the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Putin promised to announce his decision later in the day.
Russian PM: If no Progress is Made in Resolving Crisis, We Should Recognise Independence of DPR, LPR
Some 800,000 Russian Citizens Live in DPR, LPR, This Fact Cannot be Ignored, Says Medvedev
Putin signs ‘immediate’ recognition of Donbass regions
Biden to Issue Executive Order Prohibiting ‘New Investment, Trade & Financing by US Persons’ in DPR, LPR – White House
A statement released by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has indicated that “additional measures” would be announced later Monday to address the Russian president’s recognition of the DPR and LPR regions.“To be clear: these measures are separate from and would be in addition to the swift and severe economic measures we have been preparing in coordination with allies and partners should Russia further invade Ukraine,” the release states.