Ukraine crisis: Legislators approve Putin request to use armed force outside Russia 5 months ago

Ukraine crisis: Legislators approve Putin request to use armed force outside Russia

Boris Johnson on Tuesday announced a range of sanctions against Russia

Russian legislators have reportedly approved a request by President Vladimir Putin for permission to use armed forces abroad.

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The decision by the upper house of parliament takes immediate effect - and it could signal a broader attack on Ukraine, Sky News reported Tuesday.

Moscow on Monday recognised the independence of Russian-backed rebel regions, Donetsk and Luhansk, in eastern Ukraine, and Putin deployed troops into the areas.

Putin said the troops will be "peacekeeping" in the regions, which it has backed since 2014.

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The US called it an "invasion".

In Brussels, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Russia is planning for a "full-scale" attack on its neighbour, telling a press conference: "Every indication is that Russia is continuing to plan for a full-scale attack of Ukraine."

Boris Johnson on Tuesday announced sanctions against five Russian banks and three billionaires, saying Russia's actions amounted to a "renewed invasion".

The Prime Minister said the sanctions are the "first barrage" and would be extended if the situation escalates. Sanctions have also been imposed by the EU and US.

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