Update(2:30pmET): It’s official: Putin has confirmed the change of status recognition while warning Kiev and the West that Russia’s military will act against any further aggression. He warned that Ukraine’s government must now halt all military actions against Donbas or whatever happens next will be on them.

“Modern Ukraine was completely created by Russia,” Putin stated at the outset of his speech.

  • PUTIN SAYS UKRAINE WAS NOT ABLE TO ACHIEVE STABLE STATEHOOD AND HAS THEREFORE HAD TO RELY ON FOREIGN COUNTRIES LIKE THE UNITED STATES
  • PUTIN: UKRAINE HAS BECOME ‘A COLONY WITH A PUPPET GOVERNMENT’
  • PUTIN SAYS UKRAINE PLANS TO CREATE ITS OWN NUCLEAR WEAPONS
  • PUTIN SAYS WE WERE PROMISED NATO WOULD NOT EXPAND PUTIN SAYS THE OPPOSITE HAPPENED
  • PUTIN: I WILL SAY SOMETHING IVE NEVER SAID FOR THE FIRST TIME: I ASKED CLINTON HOW WOULD YOU FEEL ABOUT RUSSIA JOINING NATO?
  • PUTIN SAYS WE SAW FIVE WAVES OF NATO EXPANSION RECENTLY
  • U.S. DOES NOT NEED SUCH A BIG COUNTRY AS RUSSIA IN NATO
  • ‘WHY MAKE AN ENEMY OF US
  • PUTIN SAYS RUSSIA HAS EVERY RIGHT TO PROTECT ITS SECURITY, THAT’S WHAT WE’LL DO
  • PUTIN: UKRAINE DOESNT WANT A PEACEFUL RESOLUTION
  • PUTIN: RUSSIA WILL TAKE STEPS TO ENSURE ITS SECURITY
  • PUTIN SAYS RUSSIA WILL RECOGNISE INDEPENDENCE OF TWO BREAKAWAY REGIONS IN EASTERN UKRAINE

The Western powers have expressed surprise and dismay at the move, as sanctions packages are being prepped in Washington and Europe.

Official Kremlin statement confirming Russian change of status in Donbas:

The EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Josep Borrell Fontelles quickly tweeted that “the recognition of the two separatist territories in Ukraine is a blatant violation of international law, the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the Minsk agreements” adding that “The EU and its partners will react with unity, firmness and with determination in solidarity with Ukraine.”

Others chimed in, led by the Latvian foreign minister who said the EU must immediately impose sanctions on Russia after it recognized the separatist regions, while moments later the Polish prime minister said that Russia’s decision is an act of aggression on Ukraine, and that sanctions should be imposed immediately.

In a kneejerk response, European Commission president von der Leyen confirmed that the union will react with sanctions against Russia’s recognition of independence of the Ukraine regions, which is a blatant violation of international law as well as the Minsk agreements.

UK foreign minister Truss was also quick to note that Putin’s action signals the end of the Minsk process and violates the UN charter, noting that Russia has decided to choose confrontation over dialogue.

NATO president Stoltenberg joined the chorus condemning Russia’s decision to recognize the independence of the Ukraine rebel regions.

* * *

Update(12:38pmET): Despite the evening growing late Moscow time, it appears Russia is readying a major decision on the looming question of the independence of the two breakaway republics in eastern Ukraine. The AFP is reporting that Putin will make a televised address “soon” according to state media sources. Likely it is to be carried via Russian state channels, with reports suggesting it will happen starting at 9pm local time (or 1pm ET).

  • PUTIN TOLD SCHOLZ AND MACRON HE WILL SIGN A DECREE ON EASTERN UKRAINE REGIONS SHORTLY, WESTERN LEADERS WERE DISMAYED – RIA CITES KREMLIN
  • PUTIN PLANS TO SIGN UKRAINE SEPARATIST RECOGNITION: KREMLIN

As fighting in Donbas has continued into evening, Ukrainian government officials reported that a civilian has been killed by shelling during an attack on government-held Novoluganske, which lies a couple dozen miles north of Donetsk.

Journalists are now looking for ominous signs of what might be about to come…

Republished from ZeroHedge.com with permission


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