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Putin to sign decree recognizing separatist regions in Ukraine

Feb 21, 2022

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In a move that could further escalate ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin told the leaders of France and Germany that he planned to sign a decree recognizing Russia-supporting separatist regions in eastern Ukraine. The idea was the topic of a meeting with his presidential Security Council Monday.

“The goal of our meeting today is to listen to our colleagues and map out our next moves in this matter, meaning both the requests by the leaders of the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic to Russia asking to recognize their sovereignty,” President Putin said.

Earlier on Monday, those leaders released televised statements pleading with Putin to recognize them, as well as sign treaties that would allow for military aid to protect them from what they described as an ongoing Ukrainian military offensive.

The meeting comes amid a rise in skirmishes near the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The West has warned these skirmishes could be used by Russia as a pretext to invade Ukraine. Roughly 150,000 Russian troops are lined up along borders of Ukraine.

“We believe that any military operation of this size, scope and magnitude of what we believe the Russians are planning will be extremely violent,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a television interview Monday morning. “We also have intelligence to suggest that there will be an even greater form of brutality because this will not simply be some conventional war between two armies. It will be a war waged by Russia on the Ukrainian people.”

As tensions persist in the separatist regions of Ukraine, another meeting between Putin and President Joe Biden may be imminent. The two have met several times over the last few months.

In a Sunday statement, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed “President Biden accepted in principle a meeting with President Putin” after Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov later this week. On Monday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said “a meeting is possible if it’s deemed beneficial by the heads of state.”

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Gwen Baumgardner: WHETHER HE HAS THE AUTHORITY OR NOT, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN INTENDS TO RECOGNIZE THE INDEPENDENCE OF TWO UKRAINIAN REGIONS. IT’S THE LATEST ESCALATION OF TENSIONS BETWEEN THE TWO NATIONS.
THE OFFICIALS MET MONDAY TO DISCUSS UKRAINE’S BREAK-AWAY REGIONS, WHERE RUSSIA HAS BEEN FUNDING SEPARATISTS SINCE 20-14.
LEADERS OF THOSE REGIONS PLEADED WITH PUTIN TO SIGN FRIENDSHIP TREATIES WITH THEM — AND TO SEND MILITARY AID.
THE REQUEST COMES AMID RISING CONFLICTS IN EASTERN UKRAINE…BETWEEN RUSSIAN-BACKED SEPARATISTS AND UKRAINE’S MILITARY.
WESTERN LEADERS BELIEVE RUSSIA COULD USE THAT INTERNAL CONFLICT AS PRETEXT TO CONDUCT A FULL-SCALE INVASION.
Petro Poroshenko // former president of Ukraine: “We are doing our best to protect our soil. We the Ukrainian people don’t have a panic. Instead of staying in the banks or buying dollar or staying in the shops to buy some fruit, Ukrainian go out to buy weapons. And every single city, every single town, street or house would be hell for Russian soldiers if Putin continue the invasion.”
Gwen Baumgardner: MEANWHILE — FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON IS WORKING TO BROKER PEACE-TALKS BETWEEN PRESIDENT BIDEN AND PUTIN OVER UKRAINE.
ON MONDAY — A KREMLIN SPOKESPERSON CALLED PLANS FOR A MEETING ‘PREMATURE’…AND CONTINUES TO DENY ANY INTENTION TO INVADE UKRAINE.


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