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A White House official says Russia's moves mark the beginning of an invasion

Several times on Tuesday, a White House official claimed that Russia was sending troops into the separatist regions of Lugansk and Donetsk as part of its invasion.

Before signing a decree authorizing the sending of troops to the area for peacekeeping purposes, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced they would be recognized as separate countries.

“We think this is, yes, the beginning of an invasion, Russia’s latest invasion into Ukraine,” deputy national security adviser Jon Finer told CNN in reference to Russian troops moving into the Donbas area in eastern Ukraine.

According to The Washington Post, another White House official said in a phone call that the territories were occupied by Russia since 2014. According to the Russian government, Russian forces are not present in this part of the Donbas. It has been quite different in reality, as we have mentioned on several occasions over these past years. Russian forces have been present in these areas throughout."

Josep Borrell, the European Union's top diplomat, told reporters Tuesday that his organization does not view the move as an invasion, but that "Russian troops are on Ukrainian soil" in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.

Despite Russia's recognition of the separatist regions, and Putin's authorization to send "peacekeeper" troops to those areas, their actions fall short of the large-scale invasion that Western countries have stated in the past that Moscow is planning. Despite this, the West is left wondering what Putin's intentions are for an estimated 190,000 troops positioned on Ukraine's border.

22 Feb 2022


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