Kyiv braces for conflict, West sanctions Russia after Putin orders troops into eastern Ukraine

The world was facing up to a new phase in the Ukraine crisis on Tuesday, with Kyiv bracing for a potential conflict with Russia and the West moving to impose sanctions on Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine after recognizing their independence Monday, threatening a major escalation following months of military buildup and warnings from the West that the Kremlin was trying to create a pretext to invade its neighbor.

Moscow drew swift international condemnation.

Washington and its allies vowed sanctions in response to Russia’s actions, with Germany moving to halt the crucial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to deliver Russian natural gas to Europe.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he would halt the certification process of the project, a signal that Moscow may face a hard-hitting response as the West moves to not only punish the move in eastern Ukraine but ward off any further incursion.

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