ssian armored vehicles are loaded onto railway platforms at a railway station in region not far from the Russia-Ukraine border, in the Rostov-on-Don region, Russia, Feb. 23, 2022.
Tensions mounted two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin decreed the eastern Ukraine regions of Luhansk and Donetsk were independent states and sent what he characterized as “peacekeeping forces” across the Ukrainian border, stoking fears of a broader conflict with the one-time Soviet republic, which has been independent since 1991.
Several Ukrainian state websites, including the government and foreign ministry home pages, could not be accessed on Wednesday. Ukrainian authorities said this week they had seen online warnings that hackers were planning major attacks on government agencies, banks and the defense sector. Kyiv blamed Moscow for the cyberattacks although Russia has denied any involvement.
The head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council called a nationwide state of emergency for 30 days — subject to parliamentary approval. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry advised against travel to Russia and urged anyone there to leave immediately, saying that Moscow’s “aggression” could curb its ability to provide consular services.
The United States, European Union, Canada, Britain and Germany took a variety of actions Tuesday to punish Russia and promised harsher sanctions if Russian troops advance further into Ukraine.
Source: Voice of America