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Putin Orders Troops Into Ukraine Separatist Regions

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Photo by YURIY DYACHYSHYN/AFP via Getty Images

On Monday. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops into separatist regions of Ukraine on a “peacekeeping” mission.

The move came shortly after Putin announced that Russia would be recognizing the two regions, Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk, as independent people’s republics.

“Putin has ordered Russian troops into Ukraine. The decrees on recognizing the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics order the Russian armed forces to go into separatist territory on peacekeeping missions,” Financial Times’ Moscow Bureau Chief Max Seddon reported.

The news comes as Russian military commanders have been reportedly given orders to proceed with invading Ukraine.

“They’re doing everything that American commanders would do once they got the order to proceed,” CBS’ national security correspondent David Martin said during CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

“The intelligence says that Russian troops have actually received orders now to proceed with the invasion. So not only are they moving up closer and closer to the border and into these attack positions, but the commanders on the ground are making specific plans for how they would maneuver in their sector of the battlefield,” Martin added.

According to Russia expert Rebekah Irina Koffler, a “blitzkrieg-type” could occur as early as Monday night.

“Having recognized the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics and signed treaties today, Russia will almost certainly deploy armed forces, imminently, to occupy these breakaway territories. Putin has already authorized the deployment of ‘peacekeeping’ troops into Eastern Ukraine,” Koffler said. “Russian offensive operation against Ukraine will likely begin at 8 pm Eastern time and may not be limited to occupying Eastern Ukraine. Moscow is waging a propaganda campaign that lays out the pretext for an incursion into Ukraine proper. Russia may launch a large-scale air and missile bombardment of key military and government command and control facilities in major Ukrainian cities, preceding a ground incursion.”

“I cannot rule out the possibility of Putin’s authorizing a ‘decapitation’ strategy, targeting Kiyv, to force Zelensky to flee, so Moscow can install a pro-Russian leader. At minimum, a crippling cyber warfare campaign will target Kiev, including its power grid,” Koffler added. “This will be a swift blitzkrieg type operation. Whether Putin decides to target only Eastern Ukraine or Ukraine proper, Moscow will declare victory on February 23, the Soviet Army Day.”

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Report: Ukraine Sunk Russian Warship By Using US Intel

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Ukraine sunk the Russian warship Moskva last month using United States intelligence, according to a new report from NBC News.

“A guided missile cruiser carrying a crew of 510, the Moskva was the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet,” NBC News reported. “It sank on April 14 after being struck by two Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missiles, U.S. officials said. Moscow said the vessel sank after a fire. The Moskva was the largest Russian warship sunk in combat since World War II. American officials said there were significant Russian casualties, but they don’t know how many.”

“The attack happened after Ukrainian forces asked the Americans about a ship sailing in the Black Sea south of Odesa, U.S. officials told NBC News,” the outlet added. “The U.S. identified it as the Moskva, officials said, and helped confirm its location, after which the Ukrainians targeted the ship.”

The news comes the day after a report from The New York Times revealed that the United States has provided Ukraine with intelligence on Russian military units that has enabled the country to kill multiple Russian generals.

“The targeting help is part of a classified effort by the Biden administration to provide real-time battlefield intelligence to Ukraine,” The New York Times reported. “That intelligence also includes anticipated Russian troop movements gleaned from recent American assessments of Moscow’s secret battle plan for the fighting in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, the officials said. Officials declined to specify how many generals had been killed as a result of U.S. assistance.”

“The United States has focused on providing the location and other details about the Russian military’s mobile headquarters, which relocate frequently,” the outlet added. “Ukrainian officials have combined that geographic information with their own intelligence — including intercepted communications that alert the Ukrainian military to the presence of senior Russian officers — to conduct artillery strikes and other attacks that have killed Russian officers.”

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Putin’s Personal Cameraman Quit After Recording His Invasion Speech

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Russian President Vladimir Putin’s personal cameraman, Ilya Filatov, reportedly quit his job immediately after filming Putin’s announcement that he would be invading Ukraine.

The timing of Filatov’s exit from a job that he had for over a decade led to speculation that he actually faced dismissal because of negative comments he allegedly made about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

However, Filatov “denies this version,” according to independent Russian news site The Insider, which is banned in Russia. Filatov claims that he quit because he “reached the ceiling in the profession” and that he was “tired of sitting in quarantine for many months,” which he was required to do to reduce the likelihood he could contract COVID-19 and infect Putin.

Filatov’s sudden departure from his long time role as Putin’s cameraman was part of a pattern of Russian employee exits following comments suggesting opposition to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As explained by The Insider, “Since the beginning of Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, one by one employees of Russian TV channels have been fired or left the frame. On April 21, Alexander Gurevich, the host of the One Hundred to One program, resigned from the VGTRK . Prior to this, anti-war comments on his behalf appeared under the episodes of the show on YouTube. In March, it became known that Zhanna Agalakova, an employee of Channel One, quit , and journalist Vadim Glusker quit NTV.”

The Insider also noted how Marina Ovsyannikova, an employee of Channel One, “broke into the live newscast for a few seconds with a poster “Stop the war! Don’t believe the propaganda, they lie to you here.” Before the action, she recorded a video message in which she condemned the actions of the Russian army on the territory of Ukraine. On March 15, the journalist was fined 30,000 rubles. In April, she became a freelance correspondent for the German Welt.”

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