February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to formally recognize the independence of two rebel-controlled regions in eastern Ukraine, breaching the 2015 protocol that ended the conflict in Donbas and further inflaming the tensions between the two countries. Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznokiv called this step “another brick in the wall.”
Putin signed a decree recognizing the areas, this move might justify Russia’s attack in those locations, and an agreement of cooperation with the heads of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic. The militants do not control the entirety of their regions.
Find the reaction of the West here.
Following a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council, President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that Putin’s decision could mean Russia’s unilateral withdrawal from the Minsk agreements and ignoring decisions within the “Normandy format talks.”
“According to Article 51 of the UN Charter, Ukraine reserves the right to individual and collective self-defense.”
Ukraine qualifies Russia’s latest actions as violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state, President Volodymyr Zelensky in an address following a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council stated.