Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered troops into two rebel-held regions in eastern Ukraine, after recognizing them as independent states.
Russia said the troops would engage in “peacekeeping” in the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics.
But the US said calling them peacekeepers was “nonsense”, and that Russia was creating a pretext for war.
The two regions are home to Russian-backed rebels who have been fighting Ukrainian forces since 2014.
Ukraine’s president accused Russia of wilfully violating its sovereignty.
In a late-night televised address to the nation, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine wanted peace, but declared: “We are not afraid” and “will not give anything away to anyone”. Kyiv needed “clear and effective actions of support” from its international partners, he said.
Visit For More Information:
In a statement that confirmed the proposal, the White House also said Russia appeared to be “continuing preparations for a full-scale assault on Ukraine very soon”, and that the US was ready to impose “swift and severe consequences” should it happen. Russia has massed more than 150,000 troops close to Ukraine’s borders, according to US estimates.US company Maxar said new satellite imagery showed multiple new field deployments of armored equipment and troops from Russian garrisons near the border with Ukraine, indicating increased military readiness.
Almost 3,000 athletes competed in 109 events across 15 disciplines during the past two weeks.
International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach called for political leaders “around the world” to be inspired by the athletes’ “example of solidarity and peace”. “This unifying power of the Olympic Games is stronger than the forces that want to divide us,” he said.
Bach said the athletes had “given peace a chance,” with his comments coming amid rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine. “Each and every one of you strived to achieve your personal best. We were deeply touched how you were wishing and cheering for your competitors to achieve their best as well,” he said.
Bach also encouraged countries to continue vaccinating against Covid-19, saying:
“If we want to finally overcome this pandemic, we must be faster.
“We must aim higher, we must be stronger, we must stand together. Vaccination means caring for each other. “In this Olympic spirit of solidarity, we call on the international community: give equal access to vaccines for everybody around the world.” Great Britain leave Beijing with two medals – gold in the women’s curling and silver in the men’s event.
Curling skip Bruce Mouat, who led the men’s rink, was the flagbearer for Team GB at the closing ceremony. The Olympic flame was extinguished, with the next Games taking place in Milan-Cortina in Italy in 2026. The Winter Paralympics begins in Beijing on 4 March.
Related Links :