Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Ukraine on Monday, just hours after he formally recognized the independence of two Moscow-backed breakaway regions in the eastern part of the country.

 

The order was seen by the United States and its European allies as a dramatic provocation after weeks of warnings that Moscow was trying to create a pretext to invade its neighbor. It led to the U.S. and the European Union announcing sanctions targeting the two areas, with more set to follow, and drew condemnation at an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council.

 

Although Putin framed the troop movement as a “peacekeeping” effort in both regions, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country unequivocally sees Putin's action as a violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

Source: NBC News