In picture above: Russian President Vladimir Putin signs documents, including a decree recognising two Russian-backed breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent entities, during a ceremony in Moscow, Russia, in this picture released February 21, 2022. Sputnik/Alexey Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS
President Vladimir Putin ordered his defence ministry to despatch Russian peacekeepers to eastern Ukraine’s two breakaway regions, according to a decree published early on Tuesday after he said Moscow would recognise their independence.
Putin earlier signed decrees to recognise the two breakaway regions — the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic — as independent statelets defying Western warnings that such a step would be illegal and kill off long-running peace negotiations. (REUTERS)