Putin signs ‘immediate’ recognition of Donbass regions — RT

Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that Moscow has recognized the two self-declared breakaway Donbass republics in Ukraine’s east as sovereign nations, as a military standoff across the contact line continues to escalate.

Speaking as part of a televised address to the nation on Monday evening, Putin signed the decree, saying that “I deem it necessary to make a decision that should have been made a long time ago to immediately recognize the Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR) People’s Republics.” Lawmakers will now be asked to consider statements of friendship and support with the two regions.

At the same time, he slammed Ukraine for “extreme nationalism,” “Nazism” and “Russophobia,” pointing to the shuttering of Russian-language news outlets and laws he said discriminate against Russian speakers.

Putin signs ‘immediate’ recognition of Donbass regions — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union