UNITED NATIONS - The United States and its allies rounded on Russia during an emergency Security Council session Tuesday, denouncing Vladimir Putin’s recognition of rebel-held areas in Ukraine and his ordered deployment of troops as a gross violation of international law and “pretext for war.”

Addressing the council, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield heaped scorn on Putin’s assertion that the Russian troops would take on a peacekeeping role in the Donetsk and Lugansk areas. “He calls them peacekeepers. This is nonsense. We know what they really are,” Thomas-Greenfield said.

Ukraine’s ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya insisted that his country’s borders remain “unchangeable” despite Russia’s actions.