Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Putin Recognizes Independence of Pro-Russia Separatists in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the decree late Monday evening. Alexei Nikolsky / TASS

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday recognized the independence of two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine in an emotional address on state-run television, despite warnings from the West this could trigger sweeping sanctions.

"I believe it is necessary to take a long overdue decision, to immediately recognize the independence and sovereignty of the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic," he said.

State television then showed Putin signing mutual aid agreements with rebel leaders in the Kremlin.

At the end of an hour-long speech, Putin asked Russia's upper house of parliament, the Federation Council to "support this decision."

The Russian leader also demanded that Ukraine end military operations against pro-Moscow rebels in the eastern part of the country, or face more possible bloodshed. 

"We demand an immediate end to military operations," Putin said.

"Otherwise, all responsibility for the possible continuation of bloodshed will be fully on the conscience of the regime in power in Ukraine," he added. 

The West had repeatedly warned Putin not to recognise Ukraine's rebels, a move that effectively buries a fragile peace agreement regulating the conflict.

But the Russian leader ignored these pleas. He told French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz shortly before his address was aired that he would recognise them.

Putin spoke for over an hour in a speech heavy with historical references questioning Ukraine's right to sovereignty and alleging the West had cheated Moscow. 

"Modern Ukraine was entirely and completely created by Russia," Putin said.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more