The Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation has approved President Vladimir Putin’s request to use the armed forces abroad.
This authorization formalizes any Russian military deployment and prepares the country’s troops to move to eastern Ukraine.
It comes after Putin signed executive decrees (EOs) recognizing the independence and sovereignty of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR).
Putin also signed federal laws with DPR leader Denis Pushilin and LPR leader Leonid Pasechnik, on the ratification of treaties of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance between Russia and breakaway states.
On February 22, the State Duma adopted the federal law, which was approved by the Federation Council.
In an address, Putin spoke about the “critical and acute phase” in the Donbass and explained why the “long-awaited decision” had been taken, and those that were being taken, as well as potential additional measures .
The President said: “Russia has done everything to preserve the territorial integrity of Ukraine. All these years he has pressed with perseverance and patience for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2202 of February 17, 2015, which consolidated the Minsk Package of Measures of February 12, 2015, to resolve the situation in the Donbass.
“It was all in vain. Rada chairmen and deputies come and go, but basically the aggressive, nationalist regime that took power in Kyiv remains unchanged. It is entirely a product of the 2014 coup, and those who then embarked on a path of violence, bloodshed and anarchy only recognized then, and do not recognize now. today, no solution to the question of Donbass other than military.
“We want those who have taken and continue to hold power in Kyiv to cease hostilities immediately. Otherwise, the responsibility for the possible continuation of the bloodshed will rest entirely on the conscience of the ruling regime in Ukraine.
Donetsk and Luhansk are two major cities in eastern Ukraine in the Donets Basin, Donbass, a mining and industrial region.
These two states share a border with Russia and declared independence from Ukraine in 2014, when Russian-backed separatist forces occupied the Donbass region.
The recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk as “independent” implies Russia’s conscious unilateral withdrawal from the Minsk agreements.
The agreements were signed between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists in 2014 and 2015, to settle the situation in southeastern Ukraine.
A 12-point ceasefire agreement has been reached following peace talks in the Belarusian capital, Minsk.
The order to deploy Russian troops to these two regions finally confirms weeks and months of warnings about Russian aggression, and raises possible scenarios for a feared invasion of Ukraine.
According to the media, around 150,000 Russian troops are deployed in and around Ukraine.
In response, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry asked President Volodymyr Zelensky to break diplomatic relations between the two countries.
A meeting took place between the President of Ukraine and representatives of parliamentary factions and groups of the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada.
Officials discussed the situation and ways to respond and resolve the conflict in Donbass.
The move was condemned by several countries around the world, including the United States, calling the order a violation of international law and Ukraine’s sovereignty.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo said: “The risk of major conflict is real and must be avoided at all costs.
“We also regret today’s order to deploy Russian troops to eastern Ukraine, apparently as part of a ‘peacekeeping mission’.”
In response to the crisis, the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and many other countries in the EU, the Americas and Asia imposed a series of sanctions on Russia, prohibiting new investments, exchanges and funding in various sectors, as well as on Russian officials and institutions.
Earlier this month, the UK announced it was sending additional troops to Estonia over fears Russian military buildup near the Ukrainian border could trigger a wider conflict in Europe.