Putin recognizes rebel regions of eastern Ukraine – invasion imminent


Just moments ago Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree recognizing two rebel regions in eastern Ukraine as independent entities. Both regions share a border with Russia.

Western leaders have warned Russia against recognizing the separatists regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. Already fragile peace negotiations are essential now out of the question.

In addition, Putin accused Ukrainian forces of killing civilians in residential areas of the disputed regions. Ukraine denied the accusation. They in turn accused Russian forces of shelling the civilian areas, which they also denied.

U.K.’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson was quick to respond. Johnson called the recognition of the breakaway republics as “plainly in break of international law” and a “flagrant violation of the sovereignty” of Ukraine.

But Putin’s sees Ukraine’s possible admission to NATO as a threat to Russia’s national security. “Russia has every right to protect its security, and that’s what we’ll do,” said Putin.

The European Union has long warned Russia not to annex or recognize the breakaway Ukrainian regions. Threats of sanctions from the 27-nation bloc of the EU were used as diplomatic leverage against Russia.

President Biden has said he expected a Russian invasion of Ukraine after Russia amassed more than 100,000 troops on the eastern Ukraine border. This was seen by the president as a build up to an invasion.

Recently Biden seemed to back off from threats of sanctions by suggesting there could be a lower cost for a “minor incursion” into Ukraine. Nevertheless, Biden vowed Russia would be “held accountable.”

Biden statements may have been prophetic. Putin’s announcement recognizing the two rebel regions could pave the way for Russia to send in troops and weapons, escalating the long-running conflict. Many world leaders see the decree as a thinly-veiled excuse to invade Ukraine.

Diplomatic responses and economic sanctions by world leaders may have little or no effect on Putin, who’s had his eye on Ukraine for years.

Image from: abcnews.go.com

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