Live Updates: Putin escalates conflict by ordering Russian troops into eastern Ukraine

Live Updates: Putin escalates conflict by ordering Russian troops into eastern Ukraine
Live Story
22 February, 2022

After Russia's President Vladimir Putin announced live on state TV on Monday evening that Moscow would formally recognise the separatist regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, Russian troops reportedly entered eastern Ukraine.

The move, widely considered an escalation by the international community, has led to the US and its NATO allies announcing their plans to enforce sweeping sanctions on the Russian Federation with the aim of making any invasion extremely costly for Moscow. 

While the Kremlin has for weeks denied invasion plans, it has at the same time built up an enormous force of troops and heavy weaponry on three sides of Ukraine, with the number of troops varying from 150,000 to 200,000. 

Given the speed of developments, The New Arab is providing live updates of what's been happening on the ground and additional analysis on the conflict's significance. 

Make sure to follow our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with all the latest news. 

11:59 PM
The New Arab Staff

The New Arab's live coverage of the latest on the Ukraine-Russia crisis concludes for today.

Join us tomorrow for the latest news and analysis on Ukraine-Russia.

Make sure to follow our TwitterFacebook and Instagram to stay up to date. 

11:42 PM

Bipartisan list of Congress members unite to call for Biden to seek authorisation for troops

A rare bipartisan letter from 43 lawmakers in both parties — from Paul Gosar, R, of Arizona, Matt Gaetz, R, of Florida to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D, and to Cori Bush, D, of New York— urging US President Joe Biden to receive authorisation from Congress before involving US armed forces in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

11:41 PM
The New Arab Staff

Moscow must fully comply with UN charter: Guterres

UN chief Antonio Guterres has urged Russia to fully comply with the global body's charter, condemning Moscow's recognition of the "independence" of two breakaway Ukrainian regions.

"The principles of the UN Charter are not an a la carte menu.... Member States have accepted them all and they must apply them all," Guterres said.

The secretary-general called Russia's recognition of "the so-called 'independence'" of two eastern Ukraine regions "a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine".

Guterres has urged Russia to fully comply with the UN's charter [Getty]
11:27 PM
The New Arab Staff

Images show new deployment of military vehicles in Belarus

Satellite images show a new deployment of more than 100 military vehicles and dozens of troop tents in southern Belarus near the Ukraine border, a private US company has said.

The images also showed a new field hospital and heavy equipment transporters in western Russia close to the border with Ukraine, according to Maxar Technologies.

11:15 PM

Trudeau announces first round of economic sanctions on Russia over Ukraine crisis

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a first round of economic sanctions on Russia.

Trudeau said the government is banning Canadians from all financial dealings with the "so-called independent states" of Donetsk and Luhansk and will sanction members of the Russian parliament.

Canada will also send 460 troops to Latvia as part of Operation REASSURANCE.

The United States, the European Union, Germany and Britain also announced ways they will hit Russia financially as they fear a further incursion is to come, a move Moscow has consistently denied for months.

Trudeau has announced a first round of economic sanctions on Russia [Getty]
10:58 PM
The New Arab Staff

US top diplomat Blinken cancels meeting with Russia's Lavrov over Ukraine

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has cancelled a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov planned for Thursday.

Blinken sent Lavrov a letter on Tuesday informing him he would no longer meet him, Blinken told reporters after a meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Washington.

The United States and its allies would continue to escalate sanctions if Russia further escalates its aggression toward Ukraine, he said.

Blinken sent Lavrov a letter on Tuesday informing him he would no longer meet him [Getty]
10:39 PM
The New Arab Staff

'No Russian financial institution is safe' if Ukraine invasion deepens: US official

Russia's entire banking sector is at risk if the Kremlin orders further invasion of Ukraine, a US official told AFP, with two of the country's banks so far targeted by US sanctions.

"No Russian financial institution is safe if this invasion proceeds," the official said after the announcement of sanctions against the VEB state development bank and PSB, which is tied to the defence sector.

The official, who asked not to be identified, said that further attacks on Ukraine could see sanctions against big state banks Sberbank and VTB.

Export controls stopping the flow of high-tech components to Russia are also a "key component of our potential sanctions," the official added, calling the measures "really potent because we're talking about critical technology that Russia needs to diversify its economy".

9:25 PM
The New Arab Staff

Biden says will continue to supply 'defensive' weapons to Ukraine

US President Joe Biden said the United States will continue to supply "defensive" weapons to Ukraine against a Russian invasion and deploy US troops to reinforce NATO allies in Eastern Europe.

"I have authorized additional movements of US forces and equipment, already stationed in Europe, to strengthen our Baltic allies, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania," Biden said in a televised speech at the White House.

"Let me be clear, these are totally defensive moves on our part."


8:55 PM
The New Arab Staff

Biden announces US sanctions on Russia

Joe Biden has announced the first wave of US sanctions against Russia.

The president said Russian troop deployments in eastern Ukraine after Vladimir Putin recognised the independence of two separatist-held regions on Monday marked the "beginning of an invasion".

Biden warned Moscow that it would "pay an even steeper price if it continues its aggression", adding that his Russian counterpart was "setting up a rationale to take more territory by force".

He said: "I'm going to begin to impose sanctions in response, far beyond the steps we and our allies and partners implemented in 2014."

The latest sanctions target Russia's VEB bank and the country's military bank, Promsvyazbank, which does defence deals.

The sanctions were also being applied to Russia's sovereign debt.

"We have cut off Russia's government from Western financing. It can no longer raise money from the West," Biden told reporters at the White House.

Biden warned Moscow that it would "pay an even steep price" [Getty]
7:38 PM
The New Arab Staff

US stocks fall further on worsening Ukraine tensions, Dow -2%

Losses on Wall Street deepened late on Tuesday on the worsening prospects over Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin established diplomatic relations with Ukraine's separatist-controlled regions.

Near 1915 GMT, shortly before President Joe Biden was due to make an address on the situation, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.9 percent, or 630 points, at 33,449.82.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 1.6 percent to 4,280.29, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slid 1.8 percent to 13,299.23.

7:23 PM
The New Arab Staff

Trump: 'No way' Russia would invade Ukraine if he were still in power

Former US president Donald Trump boasted of his close relationship with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, arguing that the Ukraine crisis would not have happened under his administration.

"If properly handled, there was absolutely no reason that the situation currently happening in Ukraine should have happened at all," he said in a statement.

"I know Vladimir Putin very well, and he would have never done during the Trump administration what he is doing now, no way!"

Trump had been largely silent on the escalating Russian threat to Ukraine [Getty]
5:10 PM
The New Arab

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday that Russian forces continue to prepare for a potential attack on Ukraine after Moscow recognised two separatist regions as independent.

4:26 PM
The New Arab

G7 foreign ministers pledged their full backing to Ukraine after Russia ordered troops into two pro-Moscow separatist regions, Britain's Liz Truss said.

Truss tweeted after a joint call that she and her counterparts had agreed that Russia had broken its international commitments, adding: "Our support is unwavering for the territorial integrity of Ukraine".

2:23 PM
The New Arab

Analysis: Alliances with the West, Ukraine, and Russia, mean Israel is walking a delicate diplomatic tightrope to avoid taking sides in the crisis.

Live Story
2:21 PM
The New Arab

NATO announced an "extraordinary" meeting Tuesday with Ukraine's envoy after Russia recognised two separatist regions in the east of the country as independent.

A statement from the alliance said NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg would brief media at 1600 GMT after the talks with non-NATO member Ukraine.

1:17 PM
The New Arab

Britain will impose sanctions on five Russian banks and three "very high-net worth individuals" following the deployment of troops to two Moscow-backed regions of Ukraine, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said

1:03 PM
The New Arab

Ukraine and Syria are bound together by Russia's will to enforce tyranny against liberty. If the international community to caves to these moves, it is not only Ukrainians and Syrians who will pay the price, writes Sam Hamad

12:23 PM
The New Arab

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that he was suspending the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project with Russia in response to Moscow's recognition of two breakaway regions in Ukraine.

11:57 AM
The New Arab

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz voiced confidence that the European Union would agree "robust and massive" sanctions package targeting Russia after Moscow decided to recognise rebel-held districts in eastern Ukraine as independent.

"I am confident that we will succeed," he said in response to a question on whether the 27-nation bloc would agree unanimously to the embargo.

11:17 AM
The New Arab

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday slammed Russia's recognition of Ukraine's breakaway regions and urged compliance with international law.

"We consider the decision unacceptable," Erdogan, who is currently in Senegal, said in comments carried by the official Anadolu news agency.

"We invite the parties concerned to act with common sense and comply with the international law."

Erdogan, who has friendly ties with both Russia and Ukraine, has sought to host the two countries' leaders for a three-way summit in Turkey to ease tensions.

11:03 AM
The New Arab

Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday demanded an immediate halt to the Nord Steam 2 project and Kyiv prepared to sever relations with Moscow in response to its recognition of two breakaway regions

10:53 AM
The New Arab

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani received a letter from Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday concerning ways to support and strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries as well as issues of mutual interest

10:19 AM
The New Arab

The International community has largely condemned Russia's actions, with Turkey one of the first to attack the move. 

Read The New Arab's analysis piece below on why Turkey has "high stakes" on what happens in the following days. 

Live Story
10:18 AM
The New Arab

In response, 

The United States announced financial sanctions against rebel territories freshly recognized by Russia in eastern Ukraine and warned that more were ready if necessary.

President Joe Biden will issue an executive order to "prohibit new investment, trade, and financing by US persons to, from, or in the so-called DNR and LNR regions of Ukraine," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, referring to the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.

The order will "provide authority to impose sanctions on any person determined to operate in those areas of Ukraine," Psaki said, adding that the measures are separate to wider Western sanctions ready to go "should Russia further invade Ukraine."

10:16 AM
The New Arab

Good morning all, 

Here's a recap of what happened last night:

Russian President Vladimir Putin recognised the independence of eastern Ukraine's separatist republics, the Kremlin said in a statement Monday, adding that he had informed the French and German leaders of his decision.

"In the near future, the president plans to sign the order," the Kremlin said, in a statement published before an anticipated national address from Putin.



The New Arab Staff
The New Arab