On Tuesday, Ukraine’s defense ministry confirmed that two of its soldiers died following shelling from “Russian occupational forces” in eastern Ukraine.
“As a result of the shelling, two Ukrainian servicemen received shrapnel wounds incompatible with life, twelve servicemen were wounded with varying degrees of severity and are in medical facilities and six servicemen received combat injuries,” a Ukrainian Ministry of Defense statement said. “The JFO Command expresses its sincere and deepest condolences to the families and friends of the deceased.”
These now-confirmed deaths were first reported over the weekend.
“The Ukrainian military said two soldiers were killed and four wounded in shelling by pro-Russian separatists in east Ukraine on Saturday, where a flare up of violence this week has sparked fears it could be the trigger for Russian military action,” Reuters noted. “The Ukrainian military said on its Facebook page it had recorded 70 ceasefire violations by separatists since the start of the day compared with 66 cases over the previous 24 hours.”
This follows news that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops into regions of Ukraine on a so-called “peacekeeping” mission on Monday.
“Putin has ordered Russian troops into Ukraine. The decrees on recognizing the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics order the Russian armed forces to go into separatist territory on peacekeeping missions,” Financial Times’ Moscow Bureau Chief Max Seddon reported.
Putin has ordered Russian troops into Ukraine.
The decrees on recognizing the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics order the Russian armed forces to go into separatist territory on peacekeeping missions. pic.twitter.com/cjKMidlD4Q
— max seddon (@maxseddon) February 21, 2022
“Today, the leadership of the [Donetsk People’s Republic] and [Luhansk People’s Republic] received appeals to recognize their sovereignty in connection with the military aggression of the Ukrainian authorities, massive shelling of the territory of Donbas, as a result of which the civilian population suffers,” the Kremlin said in a statement. “With all this in mind, the President of Russia said that he intended to sign a corresponding decree in the near future.”
The White House responded by saying that sanctions would soon be imposed.
“President Biden will soon issue an Executive Order that will prohibit new investment, trade, and financing by U.S. persons to, from, or in the so-called DNR and LNR regions of Ukraine. We will also soon announce additional measures related to today’s blatant violation of Russia’s international commitments,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.
“To be clear: these measures are separate from and would be in addition to the swift and severe economic measures we have been preparing in coordination with Allies and partners should Russia further invade Ukraine,” she added.
The EU said: “President Michel and President von der Leyen condemn in the strongest possible terms the decision by the Russian President to proceed with the recognition of the non-government controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine as independent entities.”
“This step is a blatant violation of international law as well as of the Minsk agreements,” the EU statement continued. “The Union will react with sanctions against those involved in this illegal act. The Union reiterates its unwavering support to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.”
Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.
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