Putin recognizes rebel-held areas in Ukraine, Moscow sends troops to so-called peacekeeping mission

  • Ukraine and the West are cautious about making excuses for invading Russia
  • The White House has said the summit is possible only if Russia does not invade
  • Moscow says Ukrainian armored vehicles tried to enter Russia
  • Kiev called the Russian accusation ‘fake news’
  • When Putin addressed the nation, the ruble fell against the dollar against the 80s

MOSCOW, Feb. 21 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday independently recognized two separatist areas in eastern Ukraine and ordered the Russian military to launch what Moscow calls a peacekeeping operation in the region. Unleash a great war.

Shortly after announcing his recognition of Russia-backed separatists, Putin called on Russia’s Defense Ministry to send troops into the two divided regions “to keep the peace.”

It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.

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In a lengthy televised speech, Putin angrily described Ukraine as an integral part of Russia’s history, saying that eastern Ukraine was an ancient Russian land and that he hoped the Russian people would support his decision. read more .

Russian state television showed Putin signing a decree recognizing the independence of the two Ukrainian partitions, along with pro-Russian separatist leaders.

Despite Western warnings against such a move, Putin announced his decision in earlier phone calls to German and French leaders, both of whom expressed disappointment, the Kremlin said.

Moscow’s move could thwart a last-minute attempt at a summit with US President Joe Biden to prevent Russia from invading Ukraine. As Putin spoke, the ruble extended its losses, falling to more than 80 against the dollar at one point. read more

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Reuters Bureau report; Written by Kevin Liffey, Peter Graff, Frank Jack Daniel and Matt Spadelnick; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Grant McCool

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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