Yemen's Houthi rebels declare support for Russia's Ukraine annexation
Mohammed Ali Al-Houthi, a senior member of the Houthi Supreme Political Council in Yemen's capital Sanaa, tweeted his support for the Russian move, which classifies eastern Ukraine's territories Donetsk and Luhansk as independent entities.
Moscow has been giving Russian-speaking separatist rebels covert financial, political, and military backing for years.
A speech on Monday by Russian President Vladimir Putin saw Russia move toward recognition of the rebel breakaway territories.
Putin's order for the Russian military to "maintain peace" there has been widely interpreted as a green light for the invasion of Ukraine yet the move has been backed by some elements.
"We call for restraint and not to slip into a war that is intended to drain Russian capabilities," Al-Houthi stated after affirming his support for Putin's move.
The move is likely influenced by the Iran-backed Houthis' strong opposition to the US and other Western countries, which are firm allies of the rebels' arch-rival - Saudi Arabia.
نؤيد الاعتراف بدونيتسك ولوغانسك جمهوريتين مستقلتين— محمد علي الحوثي (@Moh_Alhouthi) February 21, 2022
وندعو الى ضبط النفس وعدم الانزلاق في حرب يراد لها استنزاف القدرات الروسية
World leaders have condemned Putin's actions. The US, UK, and EU have slammed the reported invasion, while the Kremlin received no support from members of the UN Security Council at an emergency meeting called by Ukraine on Monday evening following Putin's speech.
The UK's Ambassador to the UN Barbara Woodward said there are reports of Russian troops entering Donetsk and Luhansk, and urged the Security Council to call on Moscow to prevent any military action.
Russia has denied plans to invade the Ukraine for weeks, whilst building up an enormous force of troops and heavy weaponry on three sides of their neighbouring country, as concerns that an invasion could devastate Kyiv and cause significant damage across Europe continue.
Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized Yemen's capital Sanaa in 2014 prompting a Saudi-led military intervention in the country in 2015 to support the Yemeni government which fled to Aden.