Latest in Ukraine: NATO says Putin’s moves suggest Russia plans ‘full-scale attack’

Latest in Ukraine: NATO says Putin’s moves suggest Russia plans ‘full-scale attack’

Peaceful defiance was held in Kiev on Tuesday, a day after Russia recognized the independence of the breakaway eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Everyday life continued as normal, while the country’s leaders focused on maintaining calm – but also on preparation – faced with the growing risk of further Russian attack.

The session of the Ukrainian Security Council continued late Monday night with short statements by President Volodymyr Zelensky in which he said that Russian actions represent a violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine. But he gave a cool tone.

“We are committed to a peaceful and diplomatic path and we will follow it,” Zelenski said. “We are not afraid of anything or anyone.”

Zelensky said on Tuesday that he was considering next steps, such as severing diplomatic relations with Russia. He also spoke about preparations, saying that if a further attack took place, a state of emergency could be imposed.

Ukrainians have also prepared for a possible conflict, asking for donations for military charities online and wondering how far Moscow plans to deploy its troops to Ukraine.

However, Zelensky and other Ukrainian leaders called for calm. “We do not believe that there will be an intense war against Ukraine and that Russia will escalate further,” the president said on Tuesday, adding that his government would do everything to prevent that from happening.

“I am grateful to the Ukrainians for staying cool and calm despite their inner anxiety. “Only the aggressor state needs panic in Ukraine,” wrote Oleksandr Tkachenko, Minister of Culture and long-term ally of Zelensky, on social networks.

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