Vladimir Putin decides on a “military operation” in Ukraine

Shortly before 6 o’clock in the morning in Moscow, the sentence fell: “I took the decision of a military operation”. In a statement on television, Vladimir Putin therefore decided to launch an offensive to defend the separatists in eastern Ukraine.

In his speech, the master of the Kremlin once again denounced a “genocide” orchestrated by Ukraine in the east of the country, citing the call for help from the separatists announced overnight and the aggressive policy of NATO with regard to Russia and of which Ukraine would be the tool.

Ukrainian soldiers must “lay down their arms”

Vladimir Putin addressed the Ukrainian soldiers directly, telling them: “I call on you to lay down your arms”, assuring that they will then be able to “leave the battlefield without hindrance”. He assured that he did not want the “occupation” of Ukraine, but its “demilitarization” and its “denazification”. The Russian president also promised to bring “to court those who have committed numerous crimes, responsible for the bloodshed of civilians, in particular Russian citizens”.

Then, he addressed himself to those “who would try to interfere with us (…) they must know that Russia’s response will be immediate and will lead to consequences that you have never known before”. “I am sure that the soldiers and officers of Russia will fulfill their duty with courage”, he said again, “the security of the country is guaranteed”. Vladimir Putin, on the other hand, did not give any details as to the extent of the military operation, whether it was going to be limited to eastern Ukraine or whether it would be broader.

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US President Joe Biden immediately denounced an “unjustified attack” which will cause “suffering and loss of human life”. “The world will hold Russia to account,” he promised. Finally, just after Putin’s speech, the financial world began to panic, the price of a barrel of oil exceeding 100 dollars.

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