More Ukrainian news on YouTube
South Front, a website most likely associated with Russia’s intelligence agencies, reported this morning:
Early on February 24, President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia has officially launched a special operation to “enforce peace” in Ukraine.
- PEACE ENFORCEMENT IN REGION
- DENAZIFICATION AND DEMILITARIZATION OF UKRAINE
- PROTECTION OF DPR AND LPR RESIDENTS FROM KIEV’S MILITARY AGGRESSION
According to the televised speech of the Russian leader, the goal of the operation is to protect LPR and DPR residents (earlier DPR and LPR officially requested military help from Moscow) as well as demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine.
“Circumstances require us to take decisive and immediate action.”
“The People’s Republics of Donbass turned to Russia with a request for help. In this regard, in accordance with Article 51, Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, with the sanction of the Federation Council and in pursuance of the friendship treaties ratified by the Federal Assembly and mutual assistance with the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, I have decided to conduct a special military operation.”
Putin emphasized that the goal of the operation is “is to protect people who have been subjected to abuse, genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years, and for this we will seek to demilitarize and deNazify Ukraine, as well as bring to justice those who committed numerous bloody crimes against peaceful residents, including citizens of the Russian Federation,” Putin said.
- Airspace all over Ukraine has been restricted for civil flights, according to a notice to airmen (NOTAM) distributed by local agencies and airport operators
- Local media and sources report ‘explosions’ in southern, eastern and central Ukraine. It seems that Russia may have conducted precise strikes on military infrastructure, weapon depots and command centers of the Kiev regime.
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Comment: This is a repeat of the strategy used by Russia in 2014, when a self-declared, independent “government” of Crimea, “representing the ethnically Russian majority of the population”, asked Russia for help. Then, we had the “referendum” in which “overwhelming majority” decided to join Russia.
It is now clear why two days ago Putin recognized independence of the Lugansk and Donetsk republics. Only states can ask another state for help under Article 51, part 7 of the UN Charter.
“Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defense shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.”
The problem is, Lugansk and Donetsk may have been recognized by Russia but do not have a status of a Member of the United Nations.
However, the self-declared independence of Lugansk and Donetsk republics is more difficult to deny. Western states have enthusiastically recognized self-declared independence of Kosovo in 2008, which Russia and Serbia opposed. Apparently, Putin has learned his lesson.