What sparked the Russian-Ukrainian conflict?
Tensions over Ukraine have been escalating for months, but escalated quickly this week when Putin on Monday issued a one-hour speech denying the Ukrainian government.
He noted the independence of the two separatist states (Donetsk and Luhansk) in eastern Ukraine where Moscow has supported the rebels since 2014, deploying “peacekeeping forces” in the region.
In the past few months, Putin had mobilized nearly 190,000 troops near the Ukrainian border.
A former KGB lieutenant colonel said he was on a mission to restore the image of the Russian empire that had disappeared after the collapse of the Soviet Union after the end of the Cold War.
Western Ukraine supporters said they had already sent a strong message to the first group of sanctions on Tuesday.
They said Russian troops moving beyond the areas held by separatists would lead to more severe sanctions and possibly the worst genocide in Europe.