This week, the topic of the conflict in Ukraine has occupied the entire information space, and now it is not completely known what exactly current events will turn out for Russia and the world.
On February 21, Vladimir Putin signed the documents recognizing the independence of the LPR and DPR. It took place after the republics’ leaders approached Vladimir Putin with a request due to the resumption of heavy strikes by the Armed Forces of Ukraine last week. Soon Vladimir Putin and the heads of both republics signed treaties of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance. Ukraine’s and EU’s response followed immediately. “The recognition of the two separatist territories in Ukraine is a blatant violation of international law, the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the Minsk agreements.”, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted.
In the morning, February 24, Vladimir Putin officially started a special military operation in Donbas. « Its goal is to protect people who have been subjected to bullying and genocide by the Kyiv regime for eight years. And for this, we will strive for the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine, as well as bringing to justice those who committed numerous, bloody crimes against civilians, including citizens of the Russian Federation» – the President of the Russian Federation stated. The event timeline on February 24 is as follows:
At night, February 24, explosions were heard near Kyiv, Mariupol, Kharkiv and Dnipro close to airports and airstrips, the media agencies report. Later, the Russian Defense Ministry announced attacks on military infrastructure in various parts of Ukraine. In the afternoon the Armed Forces of Russia crossed the Ukrainian border in the east and through Crimea. After that, Volodymyr Zelensky declared martial law in the country. Fights near Kharkiv, Kherson and Chernihiv are reported. In the afternoon, it was reported that the Russian Armed Forces seized control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and agreed on joint protection of the facility with the Ukrainian troops. The nuclear power plant was not damaged. In the evening, the Armed Forces of Russia took control of the Serpent Island and also restored the work of the North Crimean Canal.
At night, February 25, Volodymyr Zelensky initiated general mobilization of the Ukrainian males for 90 days. In the morning the Russian Armed Forces started to actively engage in the direction of Kyiv: missile attacks on the outskirts of Kyiv, as well as skirmishes in the governmental area, were reported. In the afternoon the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation entered Melitopol and blockaded Chernihiv. In the evening, Russian troops resumed fighting on the northern outskirts of Kyiv.
Western countries sharply responded to the events:
«Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way». – The US President Joseph Biden declared.
The Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov responded:
«Our Western colleagues have consistently defended the Ukrainian regime, turning a blind eye to the murder of civilians and civilian infrastructure… The West has completely sided with Kyiv in its efforts to sabotage the Minsk agreements… Russia is preparing a special photo exhibition dedicated to the suffering of Donbas for a session on human rights in the UN…» (translated)
The events that took place on February 24-25 are the consequence of the international political situation that developed in 2014. PIR Center is closely following the events in Ukraine.