On Monday evening, Russian President Vladimir Putin asserted that he would recognize Donetsk and Luhansk – two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine – as independent and then ordered troops into those areas.
According to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, recognizing these two areas as independent violates the Minsk agreements signed in 2014 and 2015 between Russia and Ukraine. It also threatens Ukraine's sovereignty.
"To be clear: Kremlin approval of this appeal would amount to the Russian government's wholesale rejection of its commitments under the Minsk agreements, which outline the process for the full political, social, and economic reintegration of those parts of Ukraine's Donbas region controlled by Russia-led forces and political proxies since 2014," Blinken said in a February 16 statement. "Enactment of this resolution would further undermine Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, constitute a gross violation of international law, call into further question Russia's stated commitment to continue to engage in diplomacy to achieve a peaceful resolution of this crisis, and necessitate a swift and firm response from the United States in full coordination with our Allies and partners," he concluded.
On Tuesday, U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer asserted Putin's decision to move Russian troops into the Donbas region signaled the start of the invasion of Ukraine.
"Invasion is an invasion, and that is what is underway," Finer told CNN in an interview Tuesday morning.
"We think this is, yes, the beginning of an invasion. I am calling it an invasion. We're taking a severe response including sanctions on Russia [that] we'll be rolling out in a matter of hours," Finer added.
United Kingdom Health Minister Sajid Javid also called the move the beginning of "the invasion of Ukraine."
According to CNBC, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson echoed those sentiments on Tuesday, saying there should be "no doubt" that sending Russian troops into Ukrainian territory "amounts to a renewed invasion of that country."
Addressing Parliament, Johnson added, "By denying Ukraine's legitimacy as a state, and presenting its very existence as a mortal threat to Russia, Putin is establishing the pretext for a full-scale offensive."
According to the BBC, the U.K. has imposed sanctions on Russia, targeting several Russian banks and freezing the U.K. assets of three wealthy Russians.
The European Union also issued sanctions against Russia, targeting banks financing the nation's military and members of parliament.
The U.S. is expected to announce sanctions against Russia on Tuesday.
"Tomorrow, the United States will impose sanctions on Russia for this clear violation of international law and Ukraine sovereignty and territorial integrity," Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters after a Monday evening U.N. Security Council meeting.
"We can, will, and must stand united in our calls for Russia to withdraw its forces, return to the diplomatic table and work toward peace," she added, Reuters reports.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Tomas Ragina
Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has written on her blog since 2012 and has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.