(The Post Millennial) – Amid escalating tensions in the region, Russian President Putin has ordered “peacekeeping operations” within two separatist regions of eastern Ukraine after formally recognizing their independence earlier on Monday.
Break: news agencies report that President Putin has ordered the Russian army into the breakaway Luhansk and Donetsk regions to act as 'peace-keeping forces'. It follows his decision earlier this evening to recognise those regions as independent of Ukraine
— Mark Urban (@MarkUrban01) February 21, 2022
This move intensifies Russian involvement in the Ukraine region, after months of peace talks with western nations bore no results. At the current moment, Putin and President Joe Biden have simply agreed on the “principle” of further talks.
Kremlin recognition of the so-called “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics” as “independent” requires a swift and firm response, and we will take appropriate steps in coordination with partners.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) February 21, 2022
According to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, the US president’s response to the Russian government’s latest maneuver will be imposing sanctions on any persons involved in the eastern theater of Ukraine.
“To be clear: these measures are separate from and would be in addition to the swift and severe economic measures we have been preparing in coordination with Allies and partners should Russia further invade Ukraine,” Psaki said.
Biden told the general public in America on Friday that he was now “convinced” Putin made up his mind already and has decided to invade Ukraine.
Earlier, the Russian media claimed Monday five Ukrainian “saboteurs” crossed the border and caused a clash that led to the group’s death.
It was an assertion Monday that Ukraine denied, but it provided the backdrop for a speech given by Putin later on in the day.
The central moment on Monday was a speech given by Putin over the country’s position on the state of affairs. Putin’s stance on the long standing issue of Ukrainian sovereignty was that the country leaned too heavily on backing from the European Union and the United States.
“For anyone still wondering, this is it. This is the speech. This is aimed at explaining to Russians why an invasion needs to happen,” said a Washington Post correspondent.
BREAKING: Putin orders Russian troops to Donetsk and Luhansk, eastern Ukraine.
Decrees just published call for Russian “peacekeeping” missions to be sent immediately to the newly recognized territories. At the same time, Russian media full of reports of “Ukrainian attacks.” pic.twitter.com/pPRU3P02VT
— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) February 21, 2022
Insofar as to Putin’s claims about Ukraine being a “colony with a puppet government,” Russia expressed worries about their expansion into nuclear capabilities.
At one point during Putin’s speech, he revealed that he suggested to Bill Clinton that Russia join NATO during the former US president’s trip to Moscow back in 2000. It’s these five waves of NATO expansionism that Putin says put his “security” concerns on edge.
“Why make an enemy of us?” Putin remarked at one point when describing the political landscape. The Russian president framed Ukraine as former property of Russia that needed to be reclaimed. The circumstances therein, however, are what Putin says is Ukrainian aggression against his country, and he’s only acting in self-defense.
“I consider it necessary to take a long-overdue decision: To immediately recognize the independence and sovereignty of Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic,” Putin concluded.
Well that’s it. Putin signs the decree that recognises independence of DPR and LPR. Separatist leaders are in the room pic.twitter.com/HPxJlulSFl
— Ragıp Soylu (@ragipsoylu) February 21, 2022
In reaction to the remarks, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he had been in conference with Biden, and was expected to be on the line with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson soon after. Meanwhile, Biden then got on the phone with France’s President Macron and German Chancellor Scholz.
On the economic front: Russian stocks and the ruble tumbled while oil prices rose at the latest escalation in tensions with Ukraine.