Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that he will formally recognize the independent status of two regions presently within Ukraine. This move came shortly after his country’s lower house of parliament and security council met, suggesting he has the full backing of his government.
Putin said in a live video address: “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 the Lugansk People’s Republic.”
The Russian leader made the historical case for recognizing the sovereignty of the regions by stressing that this action is the result of Ukraine’s wish to “decommunize.” He said:
“Modern Ukraine was entirely created by Russia, more precisely, Bolshevik, communist Russia. This process began immediately after the revolution of 1917 …
“As a result of Bolshevik policy, Soviet Ukraine arose, which even today can with good reason be called ‘Vladimir Ilyich Lenin’s Ukraine.’ He is its author and architect. This is fully confirmed by archive documents … And now grateful descendants have demolished monuments to Lenin in Ukraine. This is what they call decommunization. Do you want decommunization? Well, that suits us just fine. But it is White Hosue unnecessary, as they say, to stop halfway. We are ready to show you what real decommunization means for Ukraine.”
White House Response
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki issued a release outlining the U.S. government’s next steps:
We have anticipated a move like this from Russia and are ready to respond immediately. President Biden will soon issue an Executive Order that will prohibit new investment, trade, and financing by U.S. persons to, from, or in the so-called DNR and LNR regions of Ukraine. This E.O. will also provide authority to impose sanctions on any person determined to operate in those areas of Ukraine. The Departments of State and Treasury will have additional details shortly. We will also soon announce additional measures related to today’s blatant violation of Russia’s international commitments.
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.
We are continuing to closely consult with Allies and partners, including Ukraine, on next steps and on Russia’s ongoing escalation along the border with Ukraine.
Liberty Nation will keep you updated on this developing story.