On Sunday, Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, intensified the East-West tensions by ordering his nuclear forces on high alert, while the Ukrainian President agreed to dialogs with Putin as Russian tanks and troops invaded more profoundly into the country and closed Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital.
The Russian leader told his defense chiefs that he took the decision because of the aggressive statement from the West, sanctions of Russian officials, and extensive condemnation of his attack on Ukraine. However, Putin said that his announcement doesn’t mean Moscow intends to use nuclear weapons. On the other hand, the United States instantly criticized Putin’s decision and called it an intolerable escalation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his nuclear deterrent forces to stay on high alert Sunday. His announcement came just before the emergency special session of the U.N. General Assembly on Monday to intensify diplomatic pressure on Russia over its attack on Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/TVux3QtheU
— Live News Now (@LiveNewsNow6) February 28, 2022
Putin warned last week all world nations that whoever tries to interfere in the Russian invasion of Ukraine would face consequences that they never see in history. So, his words were majorly translated as signifying a warning to use nuclear weapons if the Western nations stood in his way. Furthermore, on Sunday, that threat became sharper when he ordered his defense minister, including the general staff of the military chief, to put Russian nuclear forces on high alert.
European Union Sanctions on Russia
After Putin’s announcement, the European Union announced an extraordinary new wave of sanctions and decisions against Russia. These sanctions are:
- A total ban on Russian aircrafts using European Union airspace
- Sanctioning state media outlets Russia Today and Sputnik from European Union territory
- The financing of weapons for Ukraine
These actions from the West come on top of other sanctions it imposed earlier, which include freezing of assets of wealthy Russians and major banks. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the United States ambassador to the U.N., said the nuclear deterrent order of the Russian leader showed he was unacceptably intensifying the Ukrainian conflict.
Moreover, the White House said Russia hadn’t been under threat from NATO allies at any stage, while Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary-General of NATO, described the remarks of Putin as a dangerous oratory. Russia has the world’s largest nuclear weapons stockpile, but on the other hand, NATO also has enough weapons to destroy entirely if they use them.
Recent Updates about Russian Invasion
According to the human rights commissioner of Ukraine, two hundred and ten civilians were killed in the attacks. Greek officials say that nine civilians died in the Ukrainian capital. Until now, the United Nations recorded sixty-four confirmed civilian deaths and several more wounded, and it anticipates that the real number to be much higher than the reported. Here below are some latest developments of the Russian invasion of Ukraine:
- Russian airliners turned back mid-air as several European countries banned Russian flights to the mounting pressure on Russia
- Thousands of Ukrainian residents moved towards neighboring nations to escape the war, with the United Nations assessing refugee numbers reached more than 368,000 and still increasing
- Kharkiv governor says that Ukrainian forces reaffirmed complete control over the second city of Ukraine, as inhabitants describe a bombardment of shelling
- According to an independent monitoring group, Russian police detained over nine hundred individuals in protesting against the attack on Ukraine in extensive protests on Sunday
White House Responds to Russian Decision to Put Nuclear Forces on High Alert
On Sunday, Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said that Vladimir Putin’s decision to put Russian nuclear forces on high alert is a part of a broader pattern of senseless escalation and threats from Moscow. In addition, a senior administration official told CNN that the Russian leader’s move was still an unnecessary move and another escalator.
The official said that the Russian President produced threats to justify more violent actions at every stage of this conflict – he was never under threat from NATO or Ukrainian forces. Moscow only faces a threat because it attacked a sovereign nation with no nuclear weapons.
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