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⏳ Tuesday Fix: Crossed the Line

⏳ Tuesday Fix: Crossed the Line

Morning all,

It's really a one-story kind of a day, as President Putin sends Russian troops into two regions he yesterday recognised as independent of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, we wait to see just how severe Western sanctions will be in response.

Until tomorrow,

Your Fixers


Click the screenshot below to access the podcast version of today's NewsFix.


On Monday evening, President Putin officially recognised two territories in eastern Ukraine as areas independent of Ukraine.

The move came after a lengthy speech from President Putin about the historic ties between Russia and Ukraine. Remember that in an essay last summer, Putin described Russians and Ukrainians as "one people".

As a journalist called Mary Ilyushina wrote, "this was Putin’s darkest and harshest speech basically denying Ukraine the right to exist".

Where are the regions? They are the territories of Donetsk and Luhansk - both in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. In 2014 when conflict began, Russian-backed separatists in the regions declared independence from Ukraine. As The New York Times noted, more than 13,000 people have died in fighting in the region since 2014. The Washington Post reported that only about a third of the Donbas region is currently controlled by the separatists.

Source: OSCE, created by NewsFix 

What's in a name? You might also see them be referred to in media articles as 'DPR' and 'LPR' or 'DNR' and 'LNR' - the Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic.

Support from Moscow: Putin signed the decrees recognising their independence in Moscow yesterday, with the leaders of these territories with him in the room.

Why is this being seen as a significant escalation? Because the Russian-backed leaders of these areas claim their territories are much larger than what they currently control - including some areas currently "controlled by the Ukrainian army".

Bigger picture: Like many predicted, within hours Putin ordered Russian troops into these regions, in what the Kremlin has described as a "peacekeeping mission". The US Ambassador to the UN described the statement about a peacekeeping mission as "nonsense".

How did Ukraine respond? President Zelensky said Ukrainians are not afraid.

"We are on our own land. We are not afraid of anything or anyone. We owe nothing to anyone. And we will not give anything to anyone." - President Zelensky

International reaction: BBC News described the move as a "significant escalation", the EU said it is a "blatant violation of international law". On Tuesday morning, the UK's Health Secretary Sajid Javid told Sky News "you can conclude that the invasion of Ukraine has begun".

Repercussions: The European Union had previously warned that any recognition of the breakaway areas as independent would be met with sanctions. As The Irish Times noted, the move is also "likely to torpedo a last-minute bid for a Biden-Putin summit".

President Biden's administration imposed a ban on trading with the breakaway regions, but "stopped short of announcing the full-fledged sanctions" they warned Russia would face in the event of an invasion of Ukraine. BBC News noted they will "announce further measures against Russia" on Tuesday.

Okay, so what else happens today? A lot of 'waiting and seeing' - which we will do for you. The UK Government also said they will announce sanctions today, and an emergency Cobra meeting is said to be underway.

Liz Truss is the UK's Foreign Secretary 

Keen to take a step back? This can be a bit difficult to wrap your head around. No better time to read our January piece about the complex history between Russia and Ukraine, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the moves from NATO that Putin considers a red line.

Trust us, it will help so much in conversations about this story.


While Ukraine is undoubtedly the top story, we thought this might be of interest to our audience.

Britney Spears is understood to have landed a record-breaking publishing deal for a tell-all memoir about her family and her life during the controversial conservatorship.

According to an article in The Guardian, publisher Simon & Schuster secured the deal, worth as much as $15 million. No details on a release date have been revealed.

Last month, Spears criticised her younger sister, Jamie Lynn, for her mentions of Britney in her recently-released memoir. Britney's lawyers issued a "strongly worderd" cease-and-desist.

Today is the last day of London Fashion Week, and it also marks the beginning of Milan Fashion Week.


  • England announced the end of all domestic coronavirus restrictions, as it moves towards a phase of personal responsibility. From April 1, free universal testing will come to an end.
  • In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is set to unveil their plans for 'living with Covid' later today.


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Set your alarms folks, exciting stuff.