- BBC News World
Ukraine “is not afraid of anything or anyone,” President Volodymyr Zhelensky said Monday.
The Ukrainian leader’s remarks came hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the recognition of independence for the pro-Russian provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine.
Zhelensky called for “clear support” from his allies in the West.
In a speech after speaking to world leaders, the Ukrainian president said his country would maintain its borders.
He described Russia’s actions as “a violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“It is very important now to see who is our true friend and partner and who is bullying the Russian Federation only with words,” Zhelensky said in a televised speech at night.
Earlier, Putin delivered a lengthy televised speech expressing Russian support for Donetsk and Luhansk, calling the Ukrainian government a “puppet” of the West.
The president also ordered the Russian Defense Ministry to mobilize troops in these areas to carry out “peacekeeping” missions, according to an order issued by the Kremlin on Monday afternoon.
The Russian president said in his speech that “Ukraine has never had a real tradition of being a state” and that modern Ukraine was “created” by Russia.
Russia has already sent 150,000 troops to the border with Ukraine, while the United States and its European and NATO allies have been providing material and diplomatic support to Kiev. Honesty ..
The West fears that recognizing the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk will be an excuse to occupy both parts of Russia.
The United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and the European Union have announced plans to impose sanctions on Moscow.
Reports from Donetsk showed that convoy of armored vehicles were entering its main city.
Fear in Ukraine
Sarah Rainesford, BBC Kiev correspondent
Sadness, anxiety and anger are felt in the minds of people in Ukraine.
As things move so fast we have not yet received an official response. President Volodymyr Zelensky held a meeting with his Security Council prior to his announcement.
Other politicians are very concerned, calling on allies in the west of Ukraine to stop treating them as an almost unstoppable Russian development. Some of them warn that even world war is possible.
It is a very strong language used by politicians in Ukraine. If this is about Russia testing the West, it is a watershed moment as far as Ukraine is concerned and how its allies are responding.
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