Two notable events late in the day Tuesday strongly suggest further escalation is on the horizon. First, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has announced he canceled his planned meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov which had for days been set for Thursday.
He cited as reason for the cancelation Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine. He said this invasion is in progress due to the Kremlin authorizing troops to go into the two breakaway republics of the Donbas region. “Last week, I agreed to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov this week, on Feb. 24, to discuss our country’s respective concerns about European security. But only if Russia did not invade Ukraine,” Blinken said while standing alongside his Ukrainian counterpart FM Dmytro Kuleba.
“Provocations were regularly staged against the Russian Center for Science and Culture in Kyiv, harm was caused to the health of its head, and damage was also caused to the property of the Center. Russian diplomats also became objects of aggressive actions. They received threats of physical violence,” the foreign ministry statement said.
“Their vehicles were set on fire. Contrary to their obligations under the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations, the Kyiv authorities did not react to what was happening,” it continued.
The timing of the move came immediately after Russia’s Federation Council gave formal approval for Putin to legally exercise the right to deploy troops abroad, and after that there were reports of convoys moving toward the border with the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Meanwhile, the US has continued to accuse Moscow of preparing a broader invasion of Ukraine, with Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield telling a UN Security Council emergency meeting, “Today, President Putin has torn the Minsk agreements to shreds. We have been clear that we do not believe he will stop at that,” she said.
Thomas-Greenfield called the signing of the treaties for the republics’ independence from Ukraine a “clear violation of international law and Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Russia’s parliament moved to formalize the major decisions announced by President Putin, including on Tuesday the country’s Federation Council unanimously ratifying what’s been called “the agreements on friendship, cooperation, and mutual assistance with the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics” submitted by Putin, according to state sources.
The successful ratification was reportedly met with senators breaking out in applause, and are said to be identical for both Donetsk and Luhansk. Heads of the breakaway Ukraine republics – Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik, respectively – signed the treaties, which stipulate that “the sides will build their relations as friendly states, being consistently guided by the principles of mutual respect of their sovereignty and territorial integrity and peaceful resolution of any disagreements”.
And crucially, Putin has also now formally requested of the upper chamber of the Russian parliament permission to deploy Russia’s armed forces abroad. Overnight the Pentagon said it observed what the Kremlin has dubbed “peacekeeping” forces moving in the the Donbas regions.
However, it’s as yet unclear the degree to which significant numbers of troops are already on the ground across the Russian border.
“The request has been already weighed by the Senate’s committees, the Speaker of the Russian Federation Council, Valentina Matvienko, has said,” according to Russian media. The meeting of Russia’s senate was broadcast live, in what’s becoming an ongoing ‘live event’ and bit of muscle flexing aimed at the West.
The Senate quickly issued official authorization for Donbas troop deployment. And in response NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg was quick to condemn what he called “the most dangerous moment in security in a generation.”
Given that Putin has now warned Ukraine against escalating or attacking its forces which will soon pour into Donbas in large-scale formation, the question remains how the West will respond beyond possibly meager sanctions…
At the moment CNN is citing US officials who say Russia may still be prepping a broader “invasion” of Ukraine, but there’s as yet no evidence for that.
Additionally US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield was cited as saying the Donbas deployment is a “pretext for a further invasion”. She said in a statement: “Russia’s announcement is nothing more than theater, apparently designed to create a pretext for a further invasion of Ukraine.”
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Meanwhile the rhetoric from both sides continues to escalate, as speculation abounds over Putin’s intentions…
The situation with Ukraine has gotten VERY much worse Tuesday. Multiple Launch Rocket Systems are now being fired by Ukraine while the Russian Security Council (Senate) GRANTED formal approval for Russia to use its military forces outside the country. The Economic Sanctions being imposed against Russia by the West are being laughed-at, but the language now being used by Diplomats is not a laughing matter – at all.
This morning, responding to a question from a Reporter, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said something stunning. A Reporter questioned Lavrov about Ukraine having the sovereign right to join NATO and Lavrov replied “Ukraine does not have Sovereignty, it is controlled by outside forces.”
Later, in the afternoon, Russian President Vladimir Putin, responding to questions as to whether or not Russia had withdrawn from the Minsk Agreements, said: “The Minsk agreements no longer exist. Ukraine must be demilitarized, give up NATO ambitions.”
Elsewhere, the scheduled meeting between French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has been cancelled.
Meanwhile, countries that previously told their Diplomats to relocate away from Kiev to places like Lviv, are NOW telling their Diplomats and families to GET OUT of Ukraine entirely. Numerous countries have given that precise directive today.
One of those countries is . . . Russia. In fact, video is now circulating on social media showing Russian Diplomatic Staff in Odessa, Ukraine, BURNING DOCUMENTS – shown below:
Same Consulate, but from a different angle:
We can now also CONFIRM that smoke is rising from the main Russian Embassy in Kiev; they are burning documents as well. Video from social media below:
Said one government official from a European country with whom the Hal Turner Radio Show is in regular contact “Russia is pulling all their diplomats out of Ukraine. A bloodbath is coming.”
As if Ukraine couldn’t do any more damage to itself, the Verkhovna Rada (Their Parliament) is considering Severing Diplomatic relations with Russia. A Bill to do that is now under consideration:
The fighting is already damaging common infra-structure and large Internet outages are reported now both in Donetsk and Luhansk
Movement of Russian heavy armor and now infantry troops is taking place on a massive scale all around Ukraine. It seems the situation is only going to get worse. Very, very, much worse.
For whatever some may think it’s worth, President Biden said Russia has continued to move naval forces into the Black Sea, troops through Belarus, and blood banks along with forward forces.
“You don’t need blood unless you plan on a war.”
As of 1:20 PM EST — Fighting is taking place in the direction of Luhansk from the front. The Ukrainian side is using heavy weapons. Reports coming in from several sources confirm the operation of several rocket launcher systems.
Intense fighting is also currently taking place in the southwest and west of Donetsk.
1:30 PM EST — RUSSIA’S FOREIGN MINISTRY SAYS NEW WESTERN SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA ARE ILLEGITIMATE
2:00 PM EST — It is announced that European countries now have only seven percent (7%) of their natural gas reserves and supplies from Russia have been almost completely halted. Russia’s GAZPROM stopped taking orders from natural gas transit through Ukraine (which almost all goes to Europe) on February 18.
How many LNG tankers will Europe need, EVERY DAY, if Russia responds to sanctions by COMPLETELY shutting down the pipes?
The number you are looking for is :
HAL TURNER EDITORIAL OPINION
The propaganda is already pushing the “we must sacrifice our livelihood to preserve the democratic values in the face of Russia aggression.”
The U.S. does have enough oil and nat. gas for our own economy. Without Russia, Europe does not; not even a fraction.
Europe’s economy will collapse once Russian pipes come to a stop. And Russia WILL shut those gas pipes, highly likely before this week is over.
With only seven percent gas reserves, Europe will run out of gas within about two weeks. It’s not just a matter of heating their homes, they won’t have gas to run electric power plants! That means no industry, either. Full stop.
The U.S. economy will collapse immediately after European one, no matter how much oil and nat. gas the U.S. has.
If I had money is the stock market I would get it out RIGHT NOW and I would grab as much cash money out of banks as they would allow me to take . . . and do that every single day until they shut the banks.
So, now we finally have the end-game scenario (at least the one which can be seen) answered:
The Great Collapse, needed for the Great Reset, is imminent, and it will be blamed on Russia.
I hope you have food and medicine stored in as large quantity as you can. Survival is no longer a given, anywhere.
It won’t be a matter of how much things cost, it will be a matter of there is none to be had, anywhere, at any price.
According to Putin, Russia recognized the DPR and LPR within the boundaries defined in the 2014 referenda and enshrined in the constitutions of the republics. The discussions – front/border – have come to an end. Donbass will be completely liberated. Mariupol, Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, Lisichansk – should return to their native harbor.
The leadership of the LPR and DPR has already indicated a desire to ensure the complete liberation of the territories of the DPR and LPR occupied by Ukraine. So far, Kiev is being offered to get out on good terms, cease fire and withdraw troops. There is no massive entry of Russian troops into the LDNR yet. The fighting in the LDNR continues.
Russia today began recalling diplomatic workers from Ukraine “for security reasons.” So far, Kiev has been discussing whether to break off diplomatic relations or not. It is quite obvious that there will be no negotiations with the Zelensky regime. Moscow does not consider it subjective.
All documents between the Russian Federation and the LDNR were ratified today and the legalization process of the LDNR was completed today. Now the questions of ensuring the military protectorate of the Russian Federation over the people’s republics are coming close. Today, such terms as Minsk-2 have finally died.
The sanctions imposed by the West turned out to be an actual zilch and a kind of proposal – “if you stop at the current borders of the LDNR, then we will not impose many sanctions, but if you start taking more, then we will introduce more sanctions.”
Russia simply doesn’t care; Western Sanctions are now meaningless.