European officials have confirmed Russian troops have arrived in eastern Ukraine after President Vladimir Putin announced that he would recognize the independence of two separatist regions.
Fox News reports:
“Russian troops have entered in Donbas,” the name for the area where the two separatist regions, Donetsk and Luhansk, are located, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in Paris. “We consider Donbas part of Ukraine.”
When asked whether Putin’s decision to order Russian troops into the regions amounts to an invasion, Borrell said, “I wouldn’t say that’s a fully-fledged invasion, but Russian troops are on Ukrainian soil.”
Poland’s Defense Ministry and British Health Secretary Sajid Javid also said Russian forces had entered Ukraine’s east. Javid went further, telling Sky News that “the invasion of Ukraine has begun.”
“We are waking up to a very dark day in Europe and it’s clear from what we have already seen and found out today that the Russians, President Putin, has decided to attack the sovereignty of Ukraine and its territorial integrity,” Javid said.
With an estimated 150,000 Russian troops massed on three sides of Ukraine, the U.S. has warned that Moscow has already decided to invade.
Ukraine President Zelenskyy has attempted to downplay concerns of a Russian invasion but on Tuesday signaled the country could cut off diplomatic ties with Moscow.