Kyiv | In a restaurant in the Ukraine capital’s trendy Golden Gate neighbourhood, young people were hunched over their phones, watching Vladimir Putin deliver his fiery speech.
Many Ukrainians have patiently ignored the Russian president for months, even as the United States and its allies warned of a possible Russian invasion. They are well aware of Mr Putin’s ambitions in Ukraine after Russia annexed Crimea from the country in 2014 and backed separatists in the eastern Donbas region.
But now the strongman has their attention. Mr Putin, whose speech this week, was packed with grievances against the West, said eastern Ukraine was ancient Russian land. He declared the two breakaway regions in Ukraine’s east independent, and said he was deploying Russian troops.