Commentator José Milhazes (historian and journlalist who lived in the USSR for many years and studied communism) tells SIC these latest comments from Vladimir Putin have raised the threat level even higher

“Sanctions are similar to a declaration of war”, says Putin

Russian president Vladimir Putin is credited with having said that ‘sanctions are similar to a declaration of war’. The statement came during a meeting he was having with female cabin crew of Russian airlines transmitted by Russian State television. Putin’s comments coincided with the opening of a number of  ‘humanitarian corridors’ to evacuate citizens from certain cities. These are expected to stay in place until 4pm Russian time today. The trouble however is that this new interpretation of international sanctions by the Russian president, suggests, say analysts in Portugal, that ‘cease fires’ allowing civilians to safety could be shortlived, or even broken on the pre-text that Nazis in said cities are refusing to let their ‘human shields’ escape. The degree of misinformation coming out of this conflict is so enormous that Russians living in Ukraine say they have sent relatives back home footage of what is happening, and “they still don’t believe it”. Russians in Russia still believe what they are being told by Russian State media: that Russia has gone into Ukraine to liberate the people from Nazis, and is not responsible for any of the bombing, bloodshed or killings.