Russia recognizes 2 Ukrainian separatist regions as independent states, as US warns Putin is seeking a pretext to invade

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he will recognize the independence of two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin.

This comes as the possibility of a Russian invasion of Ukraine looms.Putin signed a decree recognizing the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that he will recognize the independence of two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine as the possibility of a Russian invasion of Ukraine looms.

Following a nearly hour-long address to the Russian nation, Putin signed a decree recognizing the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states.

“I deem it necessary to make a decision that should have been made a long time ago to immediately recognize the independence and sovereignty of the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic,” Putin said.

Earlier Monday, during a presidential Security Council meeting in the Kremlin, several top Russian officials argued that they supported recognizing the independence of the two separatist regions’ in the eastern province of Donbas, the Associated Press reported.

During Putin’s lengthy televised speech translated live by the Russian state-owned network RT Putin accused Ukraine of being a “puppet” regime to the United States.

“And from those who seized and hold power in Kyiv, we demand an immediate cessation of hostilities,” Putin said, according to a translation from CNN. “Otherwise, all responsibility for the possible continuation of the bloodshed will be entirely on the conscience of the regime ruling on the territory of Ukraine.”

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