Happy Tuesday! We’re doing back-to-back newsletters on Russia and Ukraine—and we’ll probably end up doing back-to-back-to-back-to-back newsletters on it, too. Keep reading to find out why.
Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories
In a winding speech delivered on Monday, President Vladimir Putin said Russia would “immediately” recognize the independence and sovereignty of the separatist Donetsk and Luhansk “republics” in eastern Ukraine. In a decree issued Monday, the Kremlin ordered Russian forces into the Ukrainian-controlled territories for “peacekeeping” purposes, a move seen by Western leaders as a pretext for a larger invasion.
The White House responded to Putin’s move, with President Joe Biden signing an executive order imposing sanctions aimed at prohibiting “new investment, trade, and financing” by U.S. persons in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. “These measures are separate from and would be in addition to the swift and severe economic measures we have been preparing in coordination with Allies and partners should Russia further invade Ukraine,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki added. A senior administration official told reporters last night the administration will take “further actions” today.
German Chancellor Olaf Sholz said Tuesday that Germany is pausing certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, a project intended to bring Russian gas to the German market that the U.S. has opposed. “The situation has fundamentally changed,” Sholz said.