(Photos) Russian troops invade Ukraine

Russian troops invade Ukraine

Vladimir Putin has ordered Russian troops into two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine after declaring the areas independent and delivering an intense speech in which he said Ukraine was not a country and lacked the “traditions” of statehood.

Russian tanks, trucks, and troops entered Donetsk and Luhansk on Tuesday morning, February 22.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, a column of armored vehicles was spotted in Donetsk, the main city of one of the two so-called ‘republics.’

Russian troops invade Ukraine

At the same time, Ukraine said heavy shelling broke out along nearly all 250 miles of its frontline with the breakaway provinces, leaving two of its soldiers dead and 12 injured in a major escalation in violence.

Russian troops invade Ukraine

On Monday night the UK prime minister Boris Johnson initiated a COBRA emergency committee, while the US, France and Ukraine have also initiated emergency security meetings.

Late Monday night, Ukraine asked for an emergency United Nations security council meeting over Russia’s actions.

Before Putin’s order, world leaders including Joe Biden and Boris Johnson had made it clear that any Russian incursion, no matter how limited, into Ukrainian territory, would be considered a fresh invasion and spark an unprecedented flurry of sanctions.Russian troops invade Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelensky, president of Ukraine, gave a 2am address to the nation in which he vowed to resist Russia’s attempts to break up the country, declaring: ‘We are not afraid of anyone or anything. We don’t owe anyone anything. And we won’t give anything to anyone.’

In an hour-long speech to the Russian nation before signing his order, Putin seemed to be laying out a case for attacking the whole of Ukraine – arguing it has no history of statehood, was ‘created by Lenin’, is a corrupt US and NATO vassal, and has been directly threatening Russia’s security.

Putin vowed ‘bloodshed’ if Ukraine’s troops tried to resist him, and that ‘all responsibility…will be entirely on the conscience of the regime ruling Ukraine’, while also accusing the West of trying to ‘destroy’ Russia.

Russian troops invade Ukraine

In addition to 190,000 troops, Putin has hundreds of tanks, artillery pieces, fighter jets, heavy bombers, and missile batteries encircling Ukraine from three directions – including just a few dozen miles north of the capital, Kiev.

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