The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on the crisis Tuesday morning* The US, UK and other allies are set to impose sanctions on Russia.
Columns of military vehicles including tanks were seen in the early hours of Tuesday on the outskirts of Donetsk, the capital of one of the breakaway east Ukraine regions, after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the regions as independent states. The Reuters reporter saw about five tanks in a column on the edge of the city and two more in another part of town. No insignia were visible, but the appearance of the tanks came hours after Putin signed friendship treaties with the two separatist regions and ordered Russian troops to deploy on what Moscow called a peacekeeping operation. Reuters reporters in Donetsk had not seen tanks on the streets in previous days. Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent on Monday and ordered the Russian army to launch what Moscow called a peacekeeping operation into the area, upping the ante in a crisis the West fears could unleash a major war. Footage of Russian troops and tanks in Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, has been shared on social media by Ukrainian lawmaker Lisa Yasko. “Russian social media channels spread this video of tanks in Donetsk,” Yasko wrote. “God, please don’t allow this war again… Sanctions NOW!”