Russia announces ‘military operation’ against Ukraine  

Putin stated that we will conduct a special military operation in Donbass. we will not occupy Ukraine, need to cooperate to end the escalation. On the other hand, Ukraine President, Volodymyr Zelensky appealed Russia for peace. after it declared military operation in Donbass.

Russia announces ‘military operation’ against Ukraine   

Moscow: Ending speculation about its attack against Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced a full-fledged military operation against Ukraine. Russian troops have started a military operation in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.

Putin in an address to the Nation said that he has no intention to concur Ukraine territory, asked Ukraine to lay down its arms.

In a speech, Mr. Putin said the goal of the operation is to protect the Donbas region, which includes separatist areas. He said the military operation follows appeals for help from the leaders of the Russian-controlled breakaway regions.

Putin stated that we will conduct a special military operation in Donbass. we will not occupy Ukraine, need to cooperate to end the escalation. On the other hand, Ukraine President, Volodymyr Zelensky appealed Russia for peace. after it declared military operation in Donbass.

On Wednesday, those leaders asked Mr. Putin “to assist in repelling aggression from the Ukrainian armed forces in order to avoid civilian casualties and prevent a humanitarian catastrophe” in Donbas, said presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, according to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

Blatantly defying the warning of the US and its allies, Putin has announced a military operation against Ukraine this morning, he reiterated that Russia has no plan to occupy its small neighbour.

Ukraine had already shifted to a war footing, declaring a state of emergency, beginning to mobilize reservists and calling on its citizens to leave Russia immediately in the midst of warnings of an imminent full-scale invasion.

Image curtsy: Radio Free Europe

In a surprise statement on television to declare military operation against Russia, Mr. Putin said that

"I have made the decision of a military operation," he said shortly at 6:00 am in Moscow, as he vowed retaliation against anyone who interfered.

Russian President also warned that if any interference from the US during the military operation, Russia will be responded to the same.

Russia declared war against Ukraine after a request from the rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine to seek military operation against Kyiv.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky made an emotional late-night appeal to Russians not to support a "major war in Europe".

Zelensky said he had tried to call Putin but there was "no answer, only silence", adding that Moscow now had around 200,000 soldiers near Ukraine's borders.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said he tried to call Mr. Putin but was unable to speak to him. Instead, the Ukrainian leader released a video address in Russia in which he urged Russian citizens to oppose the war, which he said would lead to the deaths of tens of thousands. He said that Ukraine posed no threat to Russia, WSJ reports.

Putin has defied a barrage of international criticism over the crisis, with some Western leaders saying he was no longer rational. His announcement of the military operation came ahead of a last-ditch summit involving European Union leaders in Brussels planned for Thursday, NDTV reports.

The 27-nation bloc had also imposed sanctions on Russia's defence minister Sergei Shoigu and high-ranking figures including the commanders of Russia's army, navy and air force, another part of the wave of Western punishment after Putin sought to rewrite Ukraine's borders.

Two separatist leaders of Donetsk and Lugansk sent separate letters to Putin, asking him to "help them repel Ukraine's aggression", Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. The two letters were published by Russian state media and were both dated February 22.

Early Thursday morning local time, three Ukrainian airports issued formal notices to pilots that each had closed for the night and would reopen later Thursday morning. The closure notices are unusual and triggered speculation they were related to rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Kharkiv International Airport, one of Ukraine’s biggest airports, sits along Ukraine’s northeastern border with Russia and said it closed its runway until 8:35 a.m. local time.

Putin Address to Nation: The situation in Donbass has reached a critical, acute stage. I am speaking to you directly today not only to explain what is happening but also to inform you of the decisions being made as well as potential further steps.

I would like to emphasise again that Ukraine is not just a neighbouring country for us. It is an inalienable part of our own history, culture and spiritual space. These are our comrades, those dearest to us – not only colleagues, friends and people who once served together, but also relatives, people bound by blood, by family ties.

Since time immemorial, the people living in the south-west of what has historically been Russian land have called themselves Russians and Orthodox Christians. This was the case before the 17th century, when a portion of this territory rejoined the Russian state, and after.

It seems to us that, generally speaking, we all know these facts, that this is common knowledge. Still, it is necessary to say at least a few words about the history of this issue in order to understand what is happening today, to explain the motives behind Russia’s actions and what we aim to achieve.

So, I will start with the fact that modern Ukraine was entirely created by Russia or, to be more precise, by Bolshevik, Communist Russia. This process started practically right after the 1917 revolution, and Lenin and his associates did it in a way that was extremely harsh on Russia – by separating, severing what is historically Russian land. Nobody asked the millions of people living there what they thought.

Then, both before and after the Great Patriotic War, Stalin incorporated in the USSR and transferred to Ukraine some lands that previously belonged to Poland, Romania and Hungary. In the process, he gave Poland part of what was traditionally German land as compensation, and in 1954, Khrushchev took Crimea away from Russia for some reason and also gave it to Ukraine. In effect, this is how the territory of modern Ukraine was formed.

But now I would like to focus attention on the initial period of the USSR’s formation. I believe this is extremely important for us. I will have to approach it from a distance, so to speak.