Ukraine President warns of Russian invasion
Ukraine's military has been asked to be prepared for a full-scale Russian invasion. The warning comes a day after the army's major confrontation with the Russian millitary along the joint border between the countries. Over 6,400 people have so far been killed in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Ukraine has been accusing Russia of backing the rebels and supplying them with arms.
Ukraine opts out of Trade Pact with EU
The country was to sign the pact in the coming week but MPs rejected a number of key bills, including the one that would have assured freeing Yulia Tymoshenko from jail. Yulia Tymoshenko is an ex-PM of Ukraine and is serving a 7-year sentence for abuse of power. President Viktor Yanukovych officially called off the talks between Ukraine and Brussels.
Ukraine signs economic deal with Russia
Amidst major protests due to the dead deal with EU, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed an economic deal with Russia. Putin agreed to buy Ukrainian bonds worth $15 billion to bail out the country from its economic crisis. Russia further offered to sell Natural Gas to Ukraine at a discounted price of $268.5 per 1,000 cubic meters, down from the original rate of $400.
Russia all set to annex Crimea from Ukraine
Putin had signed a deal with Crimean leaders to join the peninsula into Russia. Putin told the parliament that "Crimea has always been part of Russia". Ukraine rejected the treaty. USA termed the treaty as a 'land grab' by Moscow. Ukraine said that the Crimea issue has now taken the shape of a military conflict.
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Putin has repeatedly stressed upon the fact that over 70% of Crimean population is ethnically Russian. He believes that Russia's control over Crimea is imperative to preserve a pure Russian race.
Ceasefire agreed in Ukraine
Russia and Ukraine signed a ceasefire in Belarus over the disputed Crimean territory in Ukraine. The ceasefire would come into force from midnight 15th February. The talks were also attended by Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and France's president Francois Hollande. Notwithstanding the ongoing talks, Russia launched military exercises in 12 regions of Ukraine.
EU sanctions against Russia to go on
The economic sanctions against Russia due to Crimea's annexation will continue till the end of the year. The leaders decided to evaluate the sanctions based on complete implementation of the recent ceasefire agreement. The leaders have deferred the proposal of increasing the number of sanctions till June end. Many EU nations including Hungary and Austria, have expressed their skepticism over the ongoing sanctions.
Separatists admit receiving Russian help
Commander of the Ukrainian separatist forces said that Russian tanks and soldiers have been instrumental in winning key battles against Ukraine troops. Russia has been denying that it is helping the separatists in Ukraine. Dmitry Sapozhnikov, the leaders of the separatists troops said that all the large operations are being led by the officers from Russian military.