Russia has declared regions east of Ukraine independent and has sent its military there to act as “Peacekeepers.” Due to their movement, Russia will now face billions of dollars in sanctions from the US and European countries.
In addition, President Joe Biden has deployed US troops to the Baltic states to defend the NATO alliance. An infantry battalion, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets, and Apache attack helicopters stationed in Italy will deploy to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Thousands of troops have already arrived in Poland, Romania, Lithuania, and Germany.
The troop movements and financial detriments were the responses from the US after Russia moved their military into the two separatist regions where rebels have been fighting Ukraine for years.
“He bizarrely asserted that these regions are no longer part of Ukraine and they’re sovereign territory. Put simply, Russia just announced those carving out a big chunk of Ukraine,” Biden said in an address to the nation.
Sanctions And Their Impact On Russia
According to a senior administration official, the first wave of sanctions targets two of the most prominent Russian banking firms, one with $50 billion in assets and another with $35 billion in assets that finances Putin’s military activity.
The sanctions also targeted five Russian oligarchs and their families to punish the country’s elite for Putin’s moves on Ukraine.
“The full block of these banks means they can no longer make any transactions with the US or Europe, and their assets in our respective financial systems are frozen,” the official said. “If this invasion proceeds, we are ready to press a button to take further action on the very largest Russian financial institutions.”
After talks with the US, Germany announced it had halted the planned Nord Stream 2 pipeline, in which Russia had invested $11 billion to sell fuel to Europe.
“Russia’s latest invasion is threatening the peace and security and prosperity of Ukraine and [the] trans-Atlantic community,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said during a meeting with the Ukrainian foreign minister.
The Irrational Rationale For The Invasion Of Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed he sent troops into the Donetsk and Luhansk separatist regions to “maintain peace.” The Russian parliament granted him the authority to use military force outside Russia. He has also claimed that the “independent” regions cover a more expansive territory that the Ukrainian government controls.
“He is setting up a rationale to take more territory by force, in my view,” Biden said in his address. “This is the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.”
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