The White House, after a short deliberation, announced their decision to officially recognize Russia’s movement into separatist-Ukraine as an “invasion” of the country, and warned that the “swift and severe” sanctions promised by the U.S. are being deployed.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced recently that he recognized the independence of two of Ukraine’s separatist regions, and shortly thereafter send his military into those formerly Ukrainian regions.
Russian troops are now stationed in Donbas, the area which had the most Russian-backed activity for years. Donetsk and Luhansk have been taken as part of Putin’s seizure.
The Kremlin escalated the situation on Tuesday, saying that they were also going to “acknowledge” the surrender of parts of the separatist region of Donbas still occupied by Ukrainian forces.
Officials at the White House said that the administration is considering the matter at hand equivalent with invasion, and said that therefore “our sanctions response has begun.”
Jon Finer, Deputy National Security Adviser, said on Tuesday morning that he believed Russia’s actions to be “the beginning of an invasion,” and added that the U.S. would quickly respond “swiftly and severely.”
When pressed about the matter, Finer responded: “I hear an invasion as an invasion and that is what is underway.”
Finer also argues that Russia has been in the process of invading the country since 2014, when Putin crossed former president Barack Obama’s “Red Line,” occupying a significant portion of Ukraine since that time.
“Russia is essentially making overt what it has denied for some time, which is Russian troop presence in these places, and we’re taking steps in response to that,” Finer said.
Pressed further by CNN interviewers, Finer again called the activities an invasion.
“I mean, again, I guess for the third or fourth time, I am calling it an invasion,” he said. “We are taking a severe response, including sanctions on Russia that will be rolling out in a matter of hours.”
The sanctions include a block on all economic activity to the recently stolen regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, with Finer adding that additional sanctions would be made against Russia directly as a penalty for their “egregious step… away from diplomacy and down the further path toward war.”
President Biden also threatened Russia by promising to work with Germany to end the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a massive blow to Russia’s economy if cancelled.
Sleepy Joe appears to be waking up in response to Russia’s aggression, thank goodness.