Support our mission
Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the nation in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Feb. 21, 2022. Russia’s Putin has recognized the independence of separatist regions in eastern Ukraine, raising tensions with West.

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the nation in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Feb. 21, 2022. Russia’s Putin has recognized the independence of separatist regions in eastern Ukraine, raising tensions with West. (Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Ukraine announced plans Wednesday to declare a state of emergency, as the nation prepared to defend itself from an expected Russian invasion.

The 30-day state of emergency, subject to approval by parliament, would impose curfews and restrict mass gatherings in certain regions “if necessary” to confront increased Russian aggression, the chief of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council said. It follows a call-up of reservists as Ukraine braces for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s next moves.

Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council secretary, Oleksiy Danilov, announced the plans and the parliament also passed a law to allow people to carry firearms for defense.

Danilov said that under the state of emergency, curfews would be imposed in certain regions only “if necessary, in the event of increased Russian aggression.”

The 30-day state of emergency, which must be confirmed by parliament, allows Ukraine to impose curfews and restrictions on mass gatherings in certain regions. It does not apply to the two eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk that were recognized by Putin on Monday as independent states and where fighting broke out when Russia backed separatist rebels there in 2014. Two-thirds of the territory is under Kyiv’s control, and the rest is under insurgent control.

Putin’s move to recognize the regions in their entirety, not just the areas under rebel control, has sharply raised the risks of a major military escalation.

Danilov rejected Putin’s accusation that Ukraine might develop nuclear weapons, a charge used by Putin to try to justify his actions against Ukraine.

Ukraine gave up nuclear weapons in 1994 in return for guarantees in the Budapest Memorandum from Russia, the United States and Britain that they would not attack Ukraine.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said NATO membership would offer more protection for Ukraine than the memorandum.

He called for a summit of the signatories to the 1994 accord, demanding affirmation of its security guarantees. Otherwise, he warned, Ukraine could conclude that the Budapest agreement is not working.

In Moscow, Russia’s Foreign Ministry vowed a “tough response” Wednesday to Washington’s sanctions package that hit Russian sovereign debt and two banks that finance infrastructure and defense.

The package also targeted Russian elites and their families.

Russia’s response measures would not necessarily be symmetrical but would be “well-grounded” and painful, the ministry said in a statement. It said Russia has proved it could withstand the impact of all previous Western sanctions packages.

The ministry said that the U.S. policy of trying to change Russia’s course through repeated sanctions amounted to “blackmail, intimidation and threats,” adding that this would not work with a global power such as Russia.

The United States’ reliance on sanctions showed its foreign policy to be “trapped in the stereotypes of a unipolar world with a false belief that the U.S. still has the right and the ability to impose its own rules of the world order,” the statement said.

Invoking Cold War rhetoric, it said the United States is being emulated by “satellites and clients, who have completely lost their independence.”

After Secretary of State Antony Blinken canceled a meeting this week with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the ministry said Russia was still “open to diplomacy based on the principles of mutual respect, equality and consideration for each other’s interests.”


Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up