Moscow will declare the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics to be sovereign states, officials have confirmed
UPDATE: Watch Putin’s full statement below.
Editor’s note: Below are excerpts from Putin’s speech as recorded by Twitter user @RWApodcast:
“Ukraine was completely built and created by Lenin. He was its architect, including his orders on including Donbass in the Ukrainian Soviet republic by force.”
“Now the Ukrainians destroy Lenin monuments and want decommunization. Do you want decommunization? We can show you what REAL DECOMMUNIZATION means in Ukraine.”
“The destructive fantasies of Leninist nation-building were never removed from the judicial basis of Soviet and post-Soviet statehood.”
“Historically, the inhabitants of the south-western regions have called themselves ‘Russian’ and ‘Orthodox’. we think this is self-evident.”
“Modern Ukraine was completely and utterly created by the Bolsheviks. this process began immediately after the revolution of 1917. Lenin and his comrades did this in a manner which was very rough on Russia proper, by cutting off a historical part of its territory.”
“Why did the communists make such generous presents to the minority nationalists? this makes no sense, it is insane. But there is an explanation: after the revolution, the main goal of the Bolsheviks was to stay in power by any means necessary.”
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“The Leninist principles of nation-building weren’t just a mistake, they were ‘worse than a mistake’. This became extremely obvious in 1991.”
“We cannot change the past, but we have to speak about it openly and honestly.”
“The russian people accepted the new geopolitical reality and materially supported the new states with respect for ukraine’s sovereignty.”
“The Ukrainian government since 1991 has always treated its relations with russia in a sense that they had all the rights and privileges but none of the obligations, up to and including the literal theft of gas.”
“From its first steps, the ukrainian state has built up its nation in opposition to russia, distorting the historical understanding of millions of people. this explains why neo-Nazis have so much power in Ukraine.”
“Ukrainian cities were drowned in a wave of pogroms and violence. remember the events in odessa, when peaceful protestors were viciously burned alive. The criminals who did this were never punished. we know their names and we WILL do everything to punish them.”
“The Ukrainian parliament is continuing to discriminate against Russians. The politics of derussification continue. The Russian language is being persecuted.”
“The Kiev regime is also preparing to move against the orthodox church. the church schism was cynically turned into a political chance to move against Russians. New measures are constantly being taken to attack millions of orthodox faithful.”
“Ukraine is planning on arming itself with nuclear weapons.”
“We cannot not react to this real danger, especially since western powers would support Ukraine in acquiring these weapons to create even more danger for Russia.”
“The Ukrainian military and intelligence services are being controlled by western powers.”
“Nowadays, there is a NATO military center in Ochakovo. I remind you, in the 18th century general suvorov fought for these lands. They were called new Russia back then. now this is being erased. Without Russian generals, many ‘Ukrainian’ cities wouldn’t exist.”
“The Ukrainian constitution prohibits foreign military bases on its territory, but they already exist, just under another name.”
“You want to get rid of the colonial legacy of the Russian Empire? Then be consistent.”
“You are saying that ukraine won’t become a NATO member tomorrow? Well, then it’ll be the day after tomorrow, what does that change in the historical perspective?”
“We are being told that NATO is a peaceful and protective alliance and that nothing is threatening russia. But we know the truth.”
“In 1990 during negotiations about the unification of germany NATO high command promised us that NATO wouldn’t expand even an inch eastwards. these promises just evaporated.”
“Eastern european countries, brought on by their anti-russian complexes, have brought a lot of anti-russian sentiment into NATO.”
“I have never talked about this publicly before. i will talk about this for the first time. in 2000 i asked Bill Clinton what he would think about admitting russia to NATO.”
“His reaction was silent, but what they really thought about this was shown by american support for Chechen terrorists.”
“Our political regime is not the problem. they just don’t want to see a strong and sovereign russia. that’s the whole explanation. This is why they disrespect all of our security concerns.”
“NATO expansion has led to the destabilization of global security.”
“The information we have clearly says that ukraine joining NATO is a question of time. In that scenario, the level of military danger for russia will rise exponentially.”
“If our ancestors could hear that ukraine would be the stage for an attack against russia, they would not believe it. but it is true.”
“Rockets based in ukraine could strike objectives up to the ural mountains.”
“We always try to solve problems diplomatically. we fully understand our role in global peacekeeping.”
“But all of our proposals were refused. russia, they say, is not allowed to meddle in internal NATO affairs. Last december, we offered our western colleagues a project for a Russian-American security agreement. They never responded to our main concerns.”
“We are being blackmailed again. they are threatening us with sanctions. i think, the more sovereign russia becomes, the stronger their sanctions will become. they will always ‘find’ or make up a reason. They want to stop russian development.”
“They don’t even need a formal reason. their reason is that we exist. I want to say it directly: in a situation when our offerings of dialogue are being refused, Russia is allowed to take measures to guarantee its security. We will do this.”
“Concerning Donbass, the Kiev regime constantly talks about how it is not interested in the Minsk protocol or in any kind of peaceful solutions.”
“How long can this continue? How long can we tolerate this? We did everything to guarantee ukraine’s territorial integrity. We proposed the Minsk protocol. Presidents change in Ukraine, but the character of its radical regime does not change.”
“Ukraine does not recognize any other kind of solution in Donbass than military. In light of this, I see no other way than to recognize the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. I ask the government to prepare documents of recognition and alliance treaties.”
“From those who took power in kiev we demand to stop any and all military actions against donbass. otherwise, the consequences will be on Ukraine. I count on the support of all patriotic forces in Russia.”
Original article below:
Russian President Vladimir Putin has told foreign leaders that Moscow is likely to officially recognize the sovereignty of the Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR) People’s Republics in Ukraine’s war-torn east.
In a statement released on Monday, the Kremlin revealed that Putin had notified French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz that he intends to sign a decree recognizing the two separatist Donbass regions “in the near future.” Accordingto officials, the two leaders “expressed their disappointment with this development.”
In a statement issued earlier the same day, the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, urged the Kremlin not to make the decision, arguing it could be a precursor to the DPR and LPR being “annexed” by Russia. “If there is annexation there will be sanctions, and if there is recognition I will put the sanctions on the table and the ministers will decide,” he said.
Macron will now host an emergency security meeting in response to the Kremlin’s announcement, Reuters reported moments after it was communicated.
The move follows requests on Monday from Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik, the leaders of the DPR and LPR, calling for Moscow’s backing. Putin chaired a televised meeting of the Russian Security Council to consider the request, in which he was urged by top officials to grant both regions recognition.
The two republics split from Kiev’s control in 2014, following the events of the Maidan, when violent street protests toppled the democratically elected government in Ukraine. This led to the Donbass war, which was formally ended in September 2014 by the Minsk Protocol, but has simmered since in a semi-frozen state.
According to the deal signed in Minsk, and a second follow-up text in 2015, Ukraine was required to decentralize its government and give a special status to Donetsk and Lugansk. Much to Moscow’s frustration, Kiev has failed to implement this part of the agreement.
Despite repeated requests from the Donbass republics to recognize the two regions as independent, Putin had, until now, refused to do so. Instead, Moscow had continued to pressure Ukraine to adhere to its commitments signed in Minsk.
The Russian president’s decision to declare the independence of the DPR and LPR comes as tensions remain high on the border with Ukraine. Russia stands accused of placing more than 100,000 troops on the frontier, with some Western officials alleging that it plans to invade its western neighbor. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied these suggestions.
Last week, lawmakers in Russia’s State Duma backed a motion calling on the Kremlin to recognize the sovereignty of the DPR and LPR. The proposal, introduced by the Communist Party, was supported by 351 MPs, with just 16 legislators opposing the move.