By Anthony Marcus, for Eurasia Business News – February 24, 2022

Russia launched tonight a military operation in Ukraine after the authorities of the republics of Donetsk and Luhansk sent to Moscow a request to provide assistance against Ukrainian army.

This decision was announced by the Russian President Vladimir Putin in an emergency address on Thursday.

Vladimir Putin explained the conduct of a special military operation in connection with the situation in Donbass by the UN Charter, the decision of the Federation Council and agreements with the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics :

In accordance with Article 51 of Part 7 of the UN Charter, with the sanction of the Federation Council of Russia and in pursuance of the treaties of friendship and mutual assistance ratified by the Federal Assembly on February 22 this year with the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic, I have decided to conduct a special military operation.”

The Russian president said that Moscow would seek to “demilitarize and denazify” Ukraine, called on the Ukrainian military to lay down their weapons and warned of an immediate response in case of attempts to intervene in what is happening from the outside.

The leading NATO countries, in order to achieve their own goals, support extreme nationalists and neo-Nazis in everything, who, in turn, will never forgive the Crimeans and Sevastopol residents for their free choice of reunification with Russia, they, of course, will climb into Crimea,” said the Russian President during his address to the Russians.

Immediately after that, reports began to come in of the sounds of explosions in a number of Ukrainian cities, including Kiev, Kharkov, Kramatorsk.

The Russian Armed Forces use high-precision weapons to disable the military infrastructure of Ukraine. First of all, these are military airfields, aviation, air defense facilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The Russian Ministry of Defense specifically emphasized that no rocket or artillery strikes were being carried out on Ukrainian cities. The military department said that nothing threatens the civilian population of Ukraine.

A military operation

Putin, after the request of the people’s republics of Donbass, decided to conduct a “special military operation“: “Its goal is to protect people who have been subjected to bullying and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years, and for this we will strive to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine, and also bringing to justice those who committed numerous bloody crimes against civilians, including citizens of the Russian Federation.”

The occupation of Ukrainian territories is not included in Moscow’s plans. The current operation stands for the right of the peoples of Ukraine to self-determination. Vladimir Putin also reiterated that Russia cannot allow Kiev to acquire nuclear weapons, and recalled the unacceptable expansion of NATO to the East.

Call to Ukrainians

Putin called on the Ukrainian military to “immediately lay down their weapons and go home“: “All servicemen of the Ukrainian army who comply with this requirement will be able to freely leave the combat zone and return to their families.” All responsibility for possible bloodshed “will be entirely on the conscience of the ruling regime on the territory of Ukraine.”

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Addressing the citizens of Ukraine, he linked Russia’s actions with self-defense against the threats created for it and “an even greater disaster than the one that is happening today“: “No matter how hard it is, I ask you to understand this and call for interaction in order to turn this tragic page and move forward together <…>“.

Warning against tampering

Putin warned attempts to intervene in what is happening from the outside, especially by military means: “No one should have any doubt that a direct attack on Russia will lead to defeat and terrible consequences for a potential aggressor.

Whoever tries to interfere with us, and even more so to create threats for our country, for our people, should know that Russia’s response will be immediate and will lead you to such consequences that you have never experienced in your history. We are ready for any development of events, all the necessary decisions in this regard have been made. I hope that I will be heard“, said the Russian president.

The first reaction of the West

Immediately after that , a statement was published by US President Joe Biden, in which he held Russia responsible for “a deliberate war that will bring catastrophic loss of life and suffering” and warned that “the United States, its allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way” . Biden said he would issue an address later Thursday to announce further steps by Washington and its allies against Russia.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced a meeting of representatives of the member countries of the alliance, which will consider the consequences of Russian actions against Ukraine.

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