Russia – Ukraine news LIVE: State of emergency declared with Vladimir Putin 'hell bent' on massive invasion; latest maps

A STATE of emergency has been declared in Ukraine amid fears Russia will invade within the next 24 hours.

The country's security council this morning approved plans for emergency measures to be enacted in all areas across the country, except the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

The state of emergency will last an initial 30 days, with the option to extend for an additional 30 if need be.

The development comes as Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned that Russian president Vladimir Putin is likely to order the invasion of Ukraine within the next 24 hours.

And Ukraine this morning urged all its citizens to leave Russia "immediately".

One Ukrainian MP, Lesia Vasylenko tweeted "Yes, Ukraine is ordering her nationals out of Russia."

"Yes, we are preparing for a state of emergency. At least in some regions of Ukraine. Martial law could be an option…whatever it takes to keep Ukraine standing."

Read our Russia – Ukraine live blog for the latest news…

  • John Hall

    What's been happening today?

    With the Ukraine crisis a rapidly shifting situation, The Sun Online is the best place to keep up to date.

    Here's my pick of our must-reads for today:

    • Putin warns hypersonic missiles are ready to launch
    • Russia is stockpiling blood ‘for war’ 
    • Britain ‘WON’T let Vladmir Putin win’, Liz Truss vows 
    • The Sun Says: Sanctions on Russia go nowhere near far enough
    • Douglas Murray: Putin is insane & dangerous – but Biden enabled him
    • Trump praises Putin’s ‘genius’ plan to invade Ukraine 
    • Ukrainian President calls up reservist troops

    World powers on action against Russia

    British, European and US officials have been scrambling for a unified response in regards to implementing sanctions against Russia.

    Yesterday, Germany announced it is axing the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, delighting Western allies. The £10 Billion project would see more gas flow from Russia to Germany, but Chancellor Olaf Scholz finally relented over the “grave breach” of international law.

    French President Emmanuel Macron was forced to give up his failed attempts to broker a deal. Paris officials moaned that Putin had strung along the French leader. Brussels was forced to issue watered down sanctions, with the EU beset by bitter infighting.

    Italy, Austria, Hungary, Spain, and Cyprus were accused of preventing tougher action. EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell admitted internal talks were “not easy” and “we could have gone further”.

    Scathing EU insiders said the response “isn’t even a slap on the wrist”. But an EU diplomat insisted the EU’s response was in lockstep with that of transatlantic allies.

    Boris' backing

    The UK Government has agreed to guarantee up to $500M in loans to support Ukraine.

    The package, announced today on the Government website, offers vital economic stability to Kyiv as they face the threat of imminent invasion from Russia.

    • John Hall

      Blood supply

      Moscow is urgently seeking medics to work in makeshift hospitals and has also been stockpiling blood supplies.

      US President Joe Biden said intelligence suggested Russian forces were moving "supplies of blood and medical equipment" to the Ukrainian border as they prepared for an invasion.

      "Russia has moved supplies of blood and medical equipment into position on their border," Biden said.

      "You don’t need blood unless you plan on starting a war."

    • Milica Cosic

      Johnson: Escalation would be 'absolutely catastrophic'

      The PM told the Commons yesterday that the sanctions are “the first tranche, the first barrage, of what we are prepared to do, and we hold further sanctions at readiness”.

      Boris Johnson then warned it is “inevitable” he will return with a “much bigger package”. But he was slammed by all parties for not going far enough in 90 minute Commons grilling.

      The PM warned an escalation would be “absolutely catastrophic” and be met with an unprecedented sanctions hit.

      He said: “I’m afraid all the evidence is that President Putin is indeed bent on a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and the overrunning and subjugation of an independent, sovereign European country.”

      But former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith hit back: “Should it not be that we need to hit them if we’re going to hit them with sanctions hard, and hit them now. They need to feel the pain.”

      Fellow Tory John Baron said: “I hope he takes away from this exchange today the strong support for tougher sanctions now because that is what is needed.”

    • John Hall


      VLADIMIR Putin has warned "unparalleled" hypersonic missiles are ready for action and has been stockpiling blood, fuelling war fears.

      Tanks and trucks have also been on the move amid concern Ukraine's second largest city, Kharkiv, could be next in his sights.

      With a huge 200,000 strong force ringing Ukraine, the world is on a knife edge waiting for Putin's next move, which could see the bloodiest conflict in Europe since WW2.

      Ukraine has declared a state of emergency, allowing police to carry out random checks, and also announced all citizens will now be allowed to carry guns.

      Putin has now given a chilling warning that “weapons without parallel in the world have been put on combat duty”.

    • Milica Cosic

      Britain to send more weapons to Ukraine

      The Prime Minister yesterday hit the mad tyrant with an opening salvo of sanctions but came under fire for not being tougher.

      Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the West will take “whatever action we need to deter” Putin, as Britain prepared a slew of fresh arms shipments.

      Additional “lethal but defensive arms” are likely to be flown in by the end of the week.

      Mr Johnson said: “I believe that the British people will support the UK Government in doing that, I think that they have a right to defend their country and the UK will help them do that.”

      He warned the Kremlin appeared to be “establishing the pretext for a full-scale offensive” by sending troops into the Donbas region under the guise of being “peacekeepers”.

      Britain is to send more weapons to embattled Ukraine within days — after Boris Johnson warned Vladimir Putin was behaving in 'an illogical and irrational frame of mind' Credit: EPA
    • Louis Allwood

      BREAKING: Ukraine set to declare state of emergency

      Ukraine will announce a state of emergency, the country's national security council has decided.

      Following a meeting of the council, top security official Oleksiy Danilov said the state of emergency would be imposed all regions except Donetsk and Luhansk.

      Donetsk and Luhask are regions in which Ukrainian forces are already at war with Russian-backed separatists.

      He said it would last 30 days initially.

      The decision still needs to be approved by the Ukrainian parliament.

    • Milica Cosic

      Russia 'doesn't care about the sanctions'

      Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Duma, Pyotr Tolstoy, said on Wednesday that introducing sanctions against Russia “makes no sense and has no value here, we don’t care about these sanctions, really.”

      Speaking to Belgium’s la Première radio, Tolstoy claimed that the “big mistake of the West is to think that Russians live only for the economy.”

      He then said: “For us, it is much more important to save the lives of our compatriots, the Russians in Ukraine, to save the families who have been living for eight years under the fire of the neo-Nazi regime installed in Kyiv with the help of Europe.”

      Asked whether Russia might cut off energy supplies, Tolstoy said: “Do not worry, Russia will fulfill all its contracts. There is no threat from this side.”

    • Milica Cosic

      'Hit more. Hit Hard. Hit now.'

      Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, wants the west to ratchet up its sanctions on Russia: “Hit more. Hit hard. Hit now.”

      The country is now advising its citizens to leave Russia, with the foreign ministry recommending “that citizens of Ukraine refrain from any trips to the Russian Federation, and those who are in this country to leave its territory immediately”.

    • Milica Cosic

      Jeremy Hunt: ‘We do need to go further’ (Continued…)

      Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, Hunt continued to say: "If we are going to avoid being two steps behind in the diplomatic chess game, we have to do some things that he’s not expecting.

      "The most important is to do sanctions – economic and financial sanctions – that are tough enough and last long enough to reduce the ability of the Russian state to finance the Russian military.

      "And that means we have got to be prepared to dig in for the long term and not do what I’m afraid has happened all too often, which is that you get a future government that decides they want to reset relations with Moscow, as, for example, President Obama did when he became president, and they cancel previous sanctions or penalties and Russia can feel that it’s got away with what it’s done."

    • Milica Cosic

      'We do need to go further'

      The former UK foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, spoke to BBC Radio 4's Today Programme this morning.

      Hunt said that the British government needs to take action that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “not expecting”.

      He also said: "We do need to go further, and I suspect the government wanted to. They’ve been pretty robust in what they’ve said but it’s very important to go in lockstep with our allies in a situation like this.

      "But what we have to remember is that Putin has both predicted these sanctions and indeed further sanctions – and discounted them."

    • Milica Cosic

      Ukraine reservists to be conscripted

      Ukraine has begun conscripting members of its reserve defence forces into the military, which are aged 18-60. This comes following a decree by President Volodymyr Zelensky.

      The military said that the maximum service period would be a year and recruits with skills, such as mechanics, will be posted to specialist units.

      Those who ignore the call could face "criminal responsibility" say officials.

      Experts estimate that around 900,000 people serve in Ukraine's reserve defence forces.

    • Milica Cosic

      'We are waking up in a new Europe'

      Manfred Weber, the chair of the European People’s Party (EPP) group in the European Parliament, believes the EU can act on three sectors: energy, banking, and high technology.

      Weber, speaking from Lithuania to Germany’s public broadcaster ZDF on Wednesday said:“If we continue down the path of escalation, of military escalation, then all three options must be on the table, and then the West will also act in unison."

      Weber also referred to yesterday as a “historic day”, and said: “we are waking up in a new Europe”.

    • Milica Cosic

      Ukraine tells citizens to leave Russia now

      Ukraine has told its citizens not to visit Russia and warned any Ukrainians already there to leave immediately.

      "The foreign ministry recommends that citizens of Ukraine refrain from any trips to the Russian Federation, and those who are in this country to leave its territory immediately," a statement says in Russian.

    • Milica Cosic

      Liz Truss: Putin is 'hell-bent' on invading Ukraine.

      Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Liz Truss was challenged on whether the current UK sanctions are tough enough to stop the Russian state financing the military.

      Truss responded, saying: "One of the banks that we’ve sanctioned is the bank that finances the Russian military, so we are absolutely taking that step.

      "I believe that Putin is hell-bent on invading Ukraine. This is about inflicting pain on Putin and degrading the Russian economic system over time, targeting people that are close to Putin. But if you’re asking me is he paying attention, my view is that he wants to invade, this is a long-standing plan.

      "And what we have to do is make it as painful as possible, both by supplying support to the Ukrainian government in terms of defensive weapons, in terms of economic support, and by imposing economic costs."

    • Milica Cosic

      Biden orders troops & helicopters to head to Baltic region

      President of the United States, Joe Biden is sending around 800 infantry soldiers to the Baltic region and up to eight F-35 fighter jets to several operating locations along NATO's eastern flank, a US official has confirmed.

      In addition, the United States will send 32 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to the Baltic region and to Poland, which will be sent from locations within Europe.

      The senior US defence official said: "These additional personnel are being repositioned to reassure our Nato allies, deter any potential aggression against Nato member states, and train with host-nation forces".

    • Milica Cosic

      'Champions League shouldn't go ahead in St Petersburg'

      The Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, says she 'doesn't believe the Champions League should go ahead in St Petersburg'.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Liz Truss: 'Nothing is off the table'

      Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Britain will "use every lever at our disposal to stop (Vladimir Putin) in his tracks":

      Writing in The Times, Ms Truss said: "Time after time, we and our allies have said that any further invasion would have severe consequences. Now Russia has chosen to abandon diplomacy, we have a moral duty to stand with Ukraine and demonstrate that we mean what we say.

      "We have put in place our toughest sanctions regime against Russia. Nothing is off the table."

      Ms Truss said she had held a call with G7 allies to "agree the next package".

      "We are looking at sanctioning members of the Russian Duma and Federation Council. And we will extend the territorial sanctions imposed on Crimea to the separatist-controlled territories in the Donbas," she said.

      "We have a long list of those complicit in the actions of the Russian leadership. Should Russia refuse to pull back its troops we can keep turning up the heat, targeting more banks, elites and companies of significance."

      She added: "In time, even those close to President Putin will come to see his decisions this week as a self-inflicted wound."

    • Joseph Gamp

      Why Russia is invading Ukraine (continued…)

      At the time, it was reported that there were 200,000 troops ringing the eastern European nation.

      It came after the House of Commons Defence Committee chairman Tobias Ellwood MP described the potential invasion as "inevitable" after Kyiv blamed Russia for a massive cyber attack earlier in January 2022.

      The attack left much of the country without heat, light and access to cash, which is feared to act as a prelude to an invasion.

      Mr Ellwood wrote on Twitter: "RUSSIA is on the brink of an invasion. And once again will try to re-draw the map of Eastern Europe. History will ask – why did we not learn from history?"

      Putin is believed to want to reclaim many territories lost at the fall of the Soviet Union.

      He first made inroads into Ukraine back in 2014 when Russian troops illegally annexed the Crimea peninsula – sparking international condemnation.

      Conflict has raged in Eastern Ukraine ever since as Putin backed-rebels fight against the government in the disputed Donbas region.

      And on February 21, 2022, Putin signed a decree recognising the Donetsk and Luhansk rebel republic.

      Military experts believe it was used as a pretext for Russian troops to cross the border into those areas.

      Weeks earlier, British nationals were told to leave Ukraine while commercial routes were still open as tensions in the region rose.

      The warning from the Foreign Office came as the US said Russia could invade "any day now" and told its own citizens to leave in the next 48 hours.

      Armed forces Minister James Heappey said the advice to Britons in Ukraine had changed because Russia was at a stage where it could attack "at no notice".

      He warned that the Royal Air Force would not be "in a position" to go and fly people out at a later date if they stayed in the country.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Why is Russia invading Ukraine?

      Putin had previously stated that Russia had no plans to attack Ukraine, and, in December 2021, armed forces chief Valery Gerasimov even denounced reports of an impending invasion as a lie.

      He said that more than 95 per cent of Moscow's ground-based strategic nuclear forces are "kept in constant readiness for combat use".

      However, the US says Russia has offered no explanation for the mobilisation of troops posted close in the months before the suspected invasion began.

      Western experts believe Russia has mobilised more than 130,000 troops along its northern, eastern and southern borders with Ukraine.

      Russia has also sent troops into Belarus, a close ally, for what are described as joint military exercises although it is believed this is just a cover to send forces to the Ukraine border.

      On February 22, 2022, a UK minister confirmed that "invasion of Ukraine had begun" as Putin ordered Russian troops into Ukraine on "peacekeeping mission."


    • Joseph Gamp

      EU brands the Russian action as an ‘act of war’

      The first indication Russian forces were moving cam in footage of Terminator-style Russian forces taken from Makiivka, in the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), and the neighbouring Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR).

      The rest of Ukraine is now braced for a massive attack from the north, south and east “at any moment” after Putin declared the besieged nation was “part of Russia.”

      It emerged today that Moscow is urgently seeking medics to go to work in makeshift hospitals in Rostov, close to the republics. 

      A doctor said: “Today we have been offered to go work at a temporary hospital in Rostov. 

      “This is how they said it: ‘The salary will be high, your patients will be the wounded’.”

      The EU branded the Russian action as an “act of war” as the bloc was preparing to hit the Kremlin with sanctions.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Sanctions must go ‘much further’

      Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Tom Tugendhat said UK sanctions against Russia should go “much further, much faster”.

      Mr Tugendhat told the BBC: “I’d like to see this go much further, much faster. As my former boss, the chief of the defence staff, General Lord Richards, put it: clout, don’t dribble. 

      “You allow people to think that you’re not serious if you don’t respond seriously quickly, and it can lead to worse confusion in the future.”

      Later, he added that the UK “shouldn’t be waiting for Russia to attack others to clean up corruption in our country”.

    • Joseph Gamp

      EU to help fight off cyberattacks from Russia

      The European Union will mobilize a team of cybersecurity experts to help Ukraine fight off cyberattacks from Russia, officials told POLITICO.

      The EU’s Cyber Rapid Response Team includes around 10 national cybersecurity officials of six European countries — Croatia, Estonia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania.

      These countries can provide assistance to countries under cyberattack.

      The move comes following the warning from Ukrainian cybersecurity services that there were incoming cyberattacks and threats on Monday.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Severing banking ties

      In the case of an invasion, among the US's load of sanctions, President Biden announced that the US banks will cut relationships with Russian banks, Reuters reported.

      Russian companies' access to US dollars and British pounds if the Kremlin orders an invasion would also be stopped.

      Source: Read Full Article

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