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Ukraine breaks diplomatic ties with Russia, says Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday broke off Kyiv's diplomatic relations with Moscow in response to Russia's invasion of its Western-backed neighbour.

February 24, 2022 / 03:54 PM IST
File Image: Ukrainians hold up their country's flag, right, as they attend a patriotic action

File Image: Ukrainians hold up their country's flag, right, as they attend a patriotic action "Mariupol is Ukraine" in Mariupol, Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022. Europe braced for further confrontation Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022, after tensions over Ukraine escalated dramatically when Russian President Vladimir Putin got the OK to use military force outside his country and the West responded with sanctions. (Image: AP)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday broke off Kyiv's diplomatic relations with Moscow in response to Russia's invasion of its Western-backed neighbour.

It marked the first rupture in ties since Russia and Ukraine became independent countries after the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991.

"We broke off diplomatic relations with Russia," Zelensky said in a video message.

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Ukraine and Russia maintained ties throughout a complex history of relations that included two pro-Western revolutions in Kyiv in 2004 and 2014 that the Kremlin strongly opposed.

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Analysts said Kyiv was keen to keep diplomatic channels with Moscow open because it needed to provide consular and other assistance to nearly three million Ukrainians living in Russia.

Zelensky's decision came hours after Putin launched an all-out offensive that included an air assault and ground invasions along Ukraine's northern and southern frontiers.



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AFP
first published: Feb 24, 2022 03:28 pm
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