Ukraine asks for emergency UN meeting over Donbass
The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics requesting military aid from Russia is “a further escalation of the security situation,” Ukraine has said, requesting an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the matter.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba announced that his country had filed a request with the UNSC shortly after midnight local time and not long after the letters penned by the leaders of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics, in which they asked Moscow for military help, were published.
Letters from DPR head Denish Pushilin and LPR head Leonid Pasechnik to Russian President Vladimir Putin requested military assistance to repel “aggression by the Ukrainian regime.” The two leaders cited the treaties their republics have signed with Russia since Moscow recognized their independence on Monday.
Kiev has already declared a state of emergency in Ukraine, calling up some 36,000 reservists and restricting freedom of movement around the country. The emergency is supposed to go into effect on February 24 and last for 30 days. Territories of the Donetsk and Lugansk region controlled by Ukrainian armed forces have been under an emergency declaration since 2014.
Residents of the two regions proclaimed the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) in 2014, after US-backed nationalists carried out a coup against the democratically elected government in Kiev. Subsequent Ukrainian governments have accused Russia of invasion and occupation, and repeatedly tried to take the rebel regions by force.