(FOXNEWS) – By Kelli Dugan and Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin is ordering forces to maintain peace in eastern Ukraine, The Associated Press reported late Monday afternoon, citing the Kremlin.
Update 7:50 p.m. EST Feb. 21: The U.N. Security Council will hold an emergency meeting at 9 p.m. Monday in New York to address Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recognizing the independence of separatist regions in eastern Ukraine, The Associated Press reported.
Ukraine, the United States and six other countries requested the emergency meeting. Russia, however, currently holds the council’s rotating presidency, meaning it holds veto power.
According to the AP, Ukrainian U.N. Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya stated in a letter to his Russian counterpart that Kyiv requested the urgent meeting because Putin’s actions violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the U.N. Charter and a 2014 U.N. General Assembly resolution.
The meeting will be open, The Guardian reported.
Update 6:55 p.m. EST Feb. 21: The Guardian has obtained video released by Ukraine officials appearing to show a convoy of military vehicles moving along a Ukrainian road. The officials confirmed to the news outlet, however, that is was not possible to determine if the troops belong to the Russian army or if they are comprised of Russian-controlled separatist units.
Maanwhile, Russian media outlet RTVI posted video late Monday of a military convoy mobilizing through the streets of Donetsk, capital of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine, CNN reported.
Update 6:28 p.m. EST Feb. 21: Local residents of Makiivka, a town less than 10 miles west of rebel-held Donetsk, told Ukrainian officials that they have witnessed what appear to be armored Russian vehicles on the move, The Guardian reported early Monday evening.
One source, who declined to be named, told the British news outlet that “a huge convoy of Russian armnored personnel carriers and other equipment has been travelling for one-and-a-half hours,” heading north toward the city of Yasynuvata, also in the Donestk region.
Update 6:11 p.m. EST Feb. 21: The United States is moving its Ukraine embassy staff out of the country and into Poland, at least temporarily, Bloomberg reported early Monday evening.
The embassy had previously relocated from Kyiv to the western city of Lviv, The Guardian reported.
Update 5:53 p.m. EST Feb. 21: In a statement issued early Monday evening, the White House elaborated on details of U.S. President Joe Biden’s call earlier in the day with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
In addition to reaffirming his commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, Biden condemned Putin’s decision to “purportedly recognize the ‘independence’” of two territories in eastern Ukraine.
“President Biden reiterated that the United States would respond swiftly and decisively, in lock-step with its Allies and partners, to further Russian aggression against Ukraine,” according to the White House statement.
The White House also released a statement on Biden’s call with French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Olaf Scholz, saying the leaders “discussed how they will continue to coordinate their response on next steps,” The Guardian reported.