May 18, 2022

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Russian President Vladimir Putin made a public service announcement on Russian state television right before explosions were heard across Ukraine.

Putin claims that the “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk, in the Ukrainian region of Donbas, which were officially recognized by the Kremlin as independent two days before, had “asked Russia for help,” he said.

This cry for help was Putin’s cassus belli to launch a “special military operation” to “demilitarize” and “denazify” Ukraine.
Following the declaration, Russian missiles hit Ukrainian targets. “Our actions are self-defense against threats,” the Russian president said, adding: “We do not plan to impose ourselves on anyone.”
Putin said that he was defending the people of that region, claiming that they are subject to “genocide,” an allegation that Kyiv has vehemently denied. Putin added that: “NATO supports Ukrainian neo-Nazis … our actions are self-defense against threats.”
Putin then addressed Ukrainian servicemen as “comrades.” He reminded them that they took an “oath of allegiance to the people of Ukraine, and not to the anti-people junta that is robbing Ukraine and abuses those same people.”
He then called on them not to follow their “criminal orders!” imploring them to “lay down your weapons.”

Changing his tune to offense, Putin warned: “Whoever tries to interfere with us, and even more so, to create threats for our country, for our people, should know that Russia’s response will be immediate and will lead you to such consequences that you have never experienced in your history.
“We are ready for any development of events. All necessary decisions in this regard have been made.”