Russian ambassador responds: Biden underestimates Moscow’s demands
Russia’s ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, was quoted by DOS as saying that Biden’s accusation that Russia was responsible for the expansion in Ukraine was merely an attempt to “mitigate” Moscow’s security demands. “I would like to draw your attention to the repeated statements by the Russian leadership that we have no plans to invade Ukraine’s fraternal population. The claims that Russia is to blame for this expansion can only be seen as an attempt to pressure and underestimate Russia’s plans for security guarantees,” Antonov explained on his Facebook page. “The United States – the ambassador continued – continues to feed public opinion with blatant lies,” Antonov concluded, adding that “the immediate invasion of Ukraine will make our desire to welcome the quiet Donbass residents a part of their life-threatening campaign. This is a new chapter in the propaganda of misinformation against Russia.” .
Volodin said, “Russia will protect its citizens in the Donbass if they are in danger.”
The United States and NATO expect a “provocation” that could provoke a confrontation with the Russian military in favor of pro-Russian people in the Donbass. The head of the State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, made it clear that the federation was ready to defend its citizens in Donbass if they were in danger. “Russia does not want war,” he said. “Our President Putin has repeatedly stressed this.
Mass exodus on the orders of the Kremlin
The leaders of the two separatist republics, Donetsk and Luhansk, at the sound of sirens, ordered the evacuation of civilians in Russia, and artillery shells intensified, appealing for weapons amid a car bomb blast near the building. The Donetsk government exchanged mutual accusations between separatists and Ukrainians. The first train carrying 1,000 Donbass refugees arrives in the Rostov region of the Russian Federation on the border with Ukraine. This was announced by the North Caucasus Railway, according to an Interfox report. A state of emergency has been declared in Rostov-on-Don starting from ten o’clock in the morning due to the “increasing influx of refugees from the independent regions of Luhansk and Donetsk – the governor explained – Vasily Kolubov”.
35,000 people are far from Luhansk
Thousands of people line up on the Russian border. The women and children boarded buses equipped to leave Ukraine. Yevgeny Katsavalov, the self-proclaimed Minister of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Luhansk, explained that 25,000 people had been evacuated and 10,000 were evacuated, according to the Tass agency. “About 25,000 people crossed the border with their own vehicles – he said – an organized convoy has been arranged to evacuate 10,000 people”. From the morning – Rhea Novosti released the first pictures of the line of buses – a column of buses was created at the Donetsk exit to evacuate residents, which had already started early in the day.
Hundreds of ceasefire violations in Osce, Donbass
On the evening of Friday, February 18, OSCE, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, recorded a “significant increase” in ceasefire violations in Donbass over the past few days. 648 violations have been reported in Luhansk, including 519 eruptions. 222 violations, 135 explosions in the Donetsk region. OSCE reiterated the need to avoid the use of force and to alleviate the “already tense” situation. “The increasingly hostile and inflammatory rhetoric we have heard recently undermines efforts to promote peace, stability and security and further increases the risk of conflict and escalation. This must be stopped,” the organization said.
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