Russian soldiers are deployed in the territories of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, after Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday recognized the independence of those separatist and Russian-speaking provinces in eastern Ukraine bordering Russia, saying they were under siege before. Ukrainian army.
Putin informed his decision on the Donetsk and Luhansk regions to the rulers of France and Germany, Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Schultz respectively, who were disappointed, according to a Kremlin statement carried by Russian news agencies Sputnik and RIA Novosti.
The Russian presidency expected that “a decree to this effect will be signed soon.” The documents indicate that the Russian army will “guarantee peace” in those areas until the signing of agreements of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance between the two sides and Moscow. They also set up to start consultations between Moscow and the recognized republics in order to establish diplomatic relations.
Condemnation of the United States of America and the European Union
The United States, the United Nations and the European Union condemned Putin’s decision, while the European Union threatened to impose new sanctions on Russia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced the upcoming convening of the National Security and Defense Council.
Weeks ago, the United States claimed that Russia was planning to invade Ukraine with tens of thousands of soldiers it deployed on the common border, despite the denials of Moscow, which asserts that the forces are participating in maneuvers and that they have the right to any mobilization within its territory.
Tensions appeared to ease last week when Putin announced a partial troop withdrawal, but have risen again since Thursday due to an escalation of fighting between the Ukrainian army and forces from the breakaway provinces where Russian is spoken.
Donetsk and Lugansk
More than 14,000 people have died in the conflict with Donetsk and Luhansk, which declared themselves independent in 2014 in rejecting the violent overthrow of the then Ukrainian government – close to Russia – with a wave of protests, replacing it with an anti-Russian one. and pro-Western.
Russia, which supports the separatists’ statements, accuses Ukraine of not wanting to comply with the 2015 Minsk conflict resolution agreement, under which the provinces should be granted autonomy and an amnesty for the rebels.
In addition, he asserts, the continued supply of arms to Ukraine by the United States and NATO encouraged it to rule out a diplomatic solution to the conflict and opt for an operation to restore the provinces, located in an industrial zone known as Donbass.
For their part, the United States and the West assert that the intensification of hostilities in eastern Ukraine in recent days may give Russia an excuse to launch the invasion that they had warned about weeks ago before the situation in Donbass deteriorated.
Putin made his announcement after holding a pre-recorded meeting with the Presidential Security Council, during which officials presented their case for recognition of the breakaway regions, although some argued that he did not have to do so immediately.
Recognition of the regions would allow Russia to openly send troops and weapons to Donetsk and Luhansk to help local forces resist a Ukrainian offensive. So far, Ukraine and the West have accused Russia of supplying weapons and fighters to the separatists, but Russia denies this, saying that the Russians who fought in the Donbass did so voluntarily.
Before Putin met with his security advisers, the leaders of Lugansk and Donetsk called on the president to recognize the republics they had declared and sign agreements that would allow them to protect them from what they described as the ongoing offensive of the Ukrainian military.
The Russian parliament passed a resolution to this effect last week.
Ukraine denied an attack and accused Russia of provocation. Russia responded that Ukraine was responsible for the aggravation of the situation in Donbass.