Ever since Russia’s special military operation began on February 24, some analysts have predicted that the war will finish with a divided Ukraine. The latest news to emerge is that sanctions are a declaration of war, according to Putin. He also threatened Ukraine with a potential loss of statehood.
Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a wide-ranging status report on the military conflict in Ukraine in a Saturday morning speech, depicting a favorable image by basically declaring “everything is going to plan” – while also warning any Western country considering imposing a no-fly zone that any such intervention would result in an instantaneous Russian proclamation of war against that nation.
According to The New York Times, Putin also spoke to Ukraine’s leaders, saying that should “they continue doing what they are doing,” the nation will jeopardize its “statehood.”
This is the first occasion where Putin has discussed what the Kremlin’s final goal for Kiev in such a direct and concise manner, following much conjecture in the West as to whether full annexation into the Russian Federation is on the agenda or not.
“The current leadership needs to understand that if they continue doing what they are doing, they risk the future of Ukrainian statehood,” Putin said in Moscow. “If that happens, they will have to be blamed for that.”
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Putin approved a proclamation last month, just days before the special military operation of Ukraine, recognizing the Eastern Ukraine breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states.
Since the operation began on February 24, some analysts have predicted that the war will finish with a divided Ukraine, with a pro-Russian eastern speaking half and a pro-Western speaking half centered in Lviv.
The second major point that raised eyebrows was his response to the EU and US imposing a slew of sanctions, including against Putin himself, over the previous week.
He bluntly described the measures as “akin to a declaration of war” – the very first instance the Russian president has used those phrases to describe the sanctions, signaling a definite escalation in rhetoric. According to Fox, this is what he said:
Ukraine’s government has stated in the hours since his address that it is prepared to begin the third stage of ceasefire negotiations on Monday, March 7.
Local ceasefires were settled upon during the second meeting on Thursday in order to facilitate the evacuation of residents from areas under bombardment. For example, in Mariupol, the ceasefire was believed to have stretched five hours before new shelling began.