Ukraine rejects Putin's demands, calls up reservists

The demands of Russian President Vladimir Putin to demilitarize Ukraine, recognize Russian sovereignty over the annexed Crimea and ensure that Ukraine will never be accepted into NATO are unrealistic, said Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.

The list of conditions voiced by Putin on February 22 after he recognized the independence of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, according to the Ukrainian Prime Minister, contradicts the choice of Ukrainian people.

"For a sovereign and independent Ukraine and for me, as the prime minister of our country, this is impossible," said Shmyhal.

The command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces announced the call up of reservists aged 18 to 60 years. They are instructed to independently come to their military units after a phone call from the conscription center or after receiving a conscription notice.

The first stage of conscription, according to the decree of President Volodymyr Zelensky, will involve servicemen who are currently in reserve, a total of about 36 thousand people.

The Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) has introduced a state of emergency throughout the country, except for Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

While Russian state media continues preparing the Russian audience for a possible military campaign, showing maps of the territory of Ukraine as of 1654, the Kremlin is preparing Russian troops for an attempt to capture Kyiv. In preparation for this, the Ukrainian government is preparing to destroy or move classified data from government servers, said Viktor Zhora, deputy chairman of the State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine.

All Russian diplomatic missions in Ukraine began the evacuation of their personal, reports TASS, citing the Russian embassy in Kyiv.

Putin announced a list of requirements to Kyiv a day after recognizing the independence of the breakaway regions of the Donbas.

"The first thing that everyone needs to do is to recognize the will of the people who live in Sevastopol and Crimea," Putin said, adding that the referendum is "the highest form of democracy."

The second requirement is a ban on Ukraine's accession to NATO. "The best solution to this issue would be for our colleagues in Western countries not to lose faces, as they say, so that the current Kyiv authorities themselves refuse to join NATO," Putin explained.

The most important point, according to him, is the "demilitarization of Ukraine."

Russia does not intend to put up with "anti-Russia" forces armed to the teeth, Putin stressed: "This is absolutely unacceptable, especially now, after the current leadership of Ukraine announced its nuclear ambitions."

  Putin, Ukraine, Donbas