US says Ukraine crisis ‘decisive moment’, rebels mobilise troops - 10 points - Hindustan Times

Ukraine calls on Putin to meet, seeks security guarantee from west - 10 points

By | Edited by Swati Bhasin
Feb 19, 2022 08:54 PM IST

Ukraine-Russia tensions: The world “is at a decisive moment in history,” US vice president Kamala Harris said on Saturday amid heightened tensions.

Amid invasion threat, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on Russia's Vladimir Putin for a meeting as separatist leaders in the eastern region ordered a full military mobilization on Saturday. “I don't know what the president of the Russian Federation wants, so I am proposing a meeting,” he said at the Munich Security Conference where he met US vice president Kamala Harris.  The world “is at a decisive moment in history,” Harris said on heightened tensions.

A service member of the Ukrainian Naval Infantry Corps (Marine Corps) drives a tank during drills at a training ground in an unknown location in Ukraine. (Reuters) (via REUTERS)
A service member of the Ukrainian Naval Infantry Corps (Marine Corps) drives a tank during drills at a training ground in an unknown location in Ukraine. (Reuters) (via REUTERS)

Here are ten big points on Ukraine-Russia tensions:

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1. Citing “terrible lessons from history”, Zelenskyy sought a new security guarantee from the west, adding he wanted to convene a meeting of world powers. "The rules that the world agreed on decades ago no longer work. They do not keep up with new threats. Not effective for overcoming them. This is a cough syrup when you need a coronavirus vaccine," he said. Reuters reported the 44-year-old leader received a standing ovation before starting remark.

2. “Let me be clear, I can say with absolute certainty: If Russia further invades Ukraine, the United States, together with our allies and partners, will impose significant, and unprecedented economic costs,” Kamala Harris said. She told  Zelenskyy: “Any threat to your country will be taken very seriously”.

3. The massive Russian troop buildup has sparked concerns of the biggest east-west crisis since the cold war. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin compared Russia to a snake, saying, ”They are uncoiling and are now poised to strike.”

4. In Ukraine’s Donetsk region, Denis Pushilin, the head of the pro-Russia separatist government said that was an immediate threat of Ukraine aggression. “I appeal to all the men in the republic who can hold weapons to defend their families, their children, wives, mothers. Together we will achieve the coveted victory that we all need,” he was quoted as saying by news agency AP.

5. A shell had hit a house in a village near Ukraine border, Russia’s TASS news agency reported. Ukraine dismissed earlier reports that its shells had landed on the Russian territory. In Ukraine, news agency Reuters reported, the ruling party’s spokeswoman claimed a group of lawmakers and foreign media had to be moved under shelter after they came under fire in eastern region.

6. Fearing further escalation, Germany has asked its citizens to leave Ukraine at the earliest. "German citizens are urgently requested to leave the country now,"  AFP quoted the updated travel advice on the German foreign ministry website as saying.

7. “The Kremlin’s dangerous thinking, which comes straight out of a dark past, may cost Russia a prosperous future,” EU chief Von der Leyen warned on Saturday, AP reported.

8. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Saturday told Moscow “it’s never too late to stop preparing for war”. "If Russia wants to divide us, they actually get the opposite, they get a more united NATO. And if Russia wants less NATO at its borders, they get the opposite, they get more NATO," he said, Reuters reported.

9. UK has warned that Taiwan may bear brunt of the aggression too. "If Ukraine is endangered, the shock will echo around the world. And those echoes will be heard in east Asia, will be heard in Taiwan," British PM Boris Johnson said. "People would draw the conclusion that aggression pays, and that might is right,” he added, Reuters reported. China claims Taiwan is a part of its territory.

10.Earlier on Saturday, Russia's President Vladimir Putin launched exercises by strategic nuclear missile forces amid tensions with Ukraine.(With inputs from Reuters, AFP, AP, PTI) 

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