1. Highlights of Russian President Putin’s speech
Following are extracts from a televised speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recognised two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent entities on Monday, upping the ante in a crisis the West fears could unleash a major war.
Below are key extracts from Putin’s televised speech:
2. In full: Russian President addresses the nation
3. Russian Military Formally Enters Eastern Ukraine on ‘Peacekeeping’ Mission
Russian military units officially entered Eastern Ukraine on Monday after Vladimir Putin’s government formally recognized the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. The move comes after weeks of speculation over a potential Russian invasion.
Just hours after formally recognizing the breakaway states, Putin dispatched Russian “peacekeepers” to the Donbas region. Multiple cell phone videos reportedly show Russian military convoys complete with artillery, tanks and armored personnel carriers making their way towards Donetsk. Amongst the convoys are several busses, which may be filled with Russian troops. The busses could also be filled with returning refugees who left the region after the 2014 conflict, experts say.