Ukraine has requested UN Security Council meeting, foreign minister says
Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Wednesday the country has asked for a meeting of the UN Security Council.
Kuleba wrote on Twitter that Ukraine has requested an urgent meeting “due to the appeal by Russian occupation administrations in Donetsk and Luhansk to Russia with a request to provide them with military assistance, which is a further escalation of the security situation”.
Earlier, Kuleba said he was concerned by reports of possible triggers for starting a war in Ukraine.
“Worrying reports from Crimea on the entire night shift of Titan chemicals plant in Armyansk evacuated from the facility,” Kuleba said on Twitter.
“This might be a preparation for another staged provocation by Russia. Moscow seems to have no limits in attempts to falsify pretexts for further aggression, ”Kuleba said.
US stocks fall into deeper correction on worsening Ukraine tensions
US stocks closed at their lowest levels since last June as tensions escalated between Russia and the west over Ukraine, exacerbating a sell-off that has taken the benchmark S&P 500 index deeper into correction territory.
The S&P 500 fell 1.8 percent on Wednesday, bringing its losses to 12 percent from a January intraday peak. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite index registered a 2.6 per cent decline and is now almost 17 per cent lower for the year.
The potential for war in Ukraine has weighed heavily on the global stock market in recent days, with the US warning that the threat of a full invasion by Russia could happen at any moment. On Wednesday the EU sanctioned senior Russian figures while a fresh wave of cyber attacks hit Ukrainian government websites and banks.
The Vix index, a measure of expected volatility in the S&P 500, rose above 30, above its long-run average of about 20, indicating market stress and a signal that investors believe the uncertainty will continue.
Concern about the global fallout from a conflict in Ukraine has heightened jitters among investors who were already concerned about the effect of rising interest rates.
Leaders of separatist regions in Ukraine ask Putin to use military force, the Kremlin says
The leaders of Moscow-backed separatist territories in eastern Ukraine have asked Vladimir Putin to “repel the aggression of the Ukrainian regime,” the Kremlin said late on Wednesday.
In letters dated Tuesday, the leaders of breakaway statelets in Donetsk and Luhansk asked Russia’s president to use military force under treaties they signed after Moscow recognized their independence from Ukraine earlier this week.
The move is the strongest sign yet that Russia is about to launch a full invasion of Ukraine after massing as many as 190,000 troops on the border.
Putin has repeatedly denied he is planning to invade Ukraine but demanded that Kyiv “demilitarize,” surrender the entire Donbas border region to the separatists, and declare neutrality on Tuesday.