Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states and ordered Russian forces to “keep the peace” in two separatist areas in eastern Ukraine.
Putin stated in a previous broadcast address that he felt “compelled to make a decision that should have been taken a long time ago – to recognize the independence and sovereignty of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic immediately.”
- Vladimir Putin has declared Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states.
- Ukraine’s long-running battle with rebels is now backed by Moscow.
- The West has frequently cautioned Russia not to recognize the separatist territories of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Putin’s declaration cleared the path for Russia to publicly send soldiers and weaponry to Ukraine’s long-running battle with rebels backed by Moscow.
Recognizing the separatist territories of Donetsk and Luhansk would effectively kill the region’s emerging peace process and the West has frequently cautioned Russia not to do that.
As of Monday evening, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had not canceled his Thursday meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov. Officials in the Biden administration said they will closely monitor Russia’s actions tonight and plan a strong reaction on Tuesday.