Russian-backed separatist leaders declare total military mobilization

Kyiv - Tensions continued in the east of Ukraine Saturday following reports of more shelling overnight. Russia announced it would open an investigation into Russian media reports that a Ukrainian bomb exploded near its border.

Russian-backed separatist leaders declare total military mobilization

This comes amid warnings from the U.S. that the Kremlin could use violent incidents as a pretext to invade.

Separatist leaders supported by Russia declared a complete military mobilization in the rebel areas of Donetsk, Luhansk, and ordered the evacuations of civilians to Russia. They claimed that Ukraine planned an invasion of rebel-held territory. The Ukrainian government refuted this accusation.

According to the Ukrainian military, two soldiers were killed in the Donetsk-controlled region on Saturday. The military also claimed that mercenaries arrived in the area in cooperation with Russia's specialist service to stage provocations that could be used against Ukraine.


U.S.: "It is absurd to think that the Ukrainians would choose to escalate a year-long war with over 150,000 troops positioned on their border," U.S. President Joe Biden said late Friday. "All of these are consistent in the Russian playbook -- to create a false justification for acting against Ukraine."

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived Saturday morning in Germany for a security conference. He was joined by Western officials including Vice President Kamala Harris. Harris stated that the U.S. stands united with NATO allies in support of Ukraine.

Harris stated that "Russian aggression of Ukraine will lead to significant economic and political consequences for the United States and our allies." "Russia continues to claim it is open to dialogue, while at the same it reduces diplomatic options. Their actions do not match their words.

Biden spoke late Friday night on televised television, saying that while diplomacy is possible, Putin made the decision to invade Ukraine and attack the capital Kyiv.

"I am convinced that he has made the right decision." "We have reasons to believe that," Mr. Biden stated.

Residents of Kyiv continued to live as normal Saturday despite the grim assessment.

A therapist on her way to work stated that "we are in a conflict, so we are not afraid since 2014," "I have an office in this building in central London. It's okay to work here for me."

"There are other ways to intrude, such as cutting off internet access or disconnecting other resources. This is the 21st Century. Who needs human death?" Vitaly, 35, was delivering fruit and vegetables Saturday morning.


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