European Union leaders to discuss Russia-Ukraine situation on February 24 at an extraordinary summit, Reuters reported on Wednesday evening.
Violence has recently increased again in Eastern Ukraine, where an eight-year conflict between Russian-backed rebels and Ukrainian forces has left nearly 14,000 dead people. Ukrainian military says that one A Ukrainian soldier was killed and six more injured after rebel shelling. Separatist officials reported several explosions on their territory overnight and three civilian deaths.
Since last On Friday, when separatist leaders in Donetsk and Luhansk regions announced mass evacuations to Russia, more more than 96,000 inhabitants of separatist areas crossed the Russian border.
After weeks of rising tensions, Putin took a series of steps this week which has raised the stakes considerably. First, he recognized the independence of these separatist regions. Then he said that the recognition extends even to large parts of territories now held by Ukrainian forces, including the main Sea of Azov port of Mariupol.
Finally he asked for and obtained permission from use military force outside the country – effectively formalizing a Russian military deployment in rebel areas.
Yet Putin suggested there was a way out of crisis, pose out three conditions: He called on Kyiv recognize the sovereignty of Russia over Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that Moscow annexed to Ukraine in 2014, to give up son offers join NATO and partially demilitarize.