Separatist Ukrainian Regions Have Been Recognized by Russia, How West Will Respond?
After meeting with French and German officials Monday, Putin announced his intention to recognise two separatist areas in eastern Ukraine as independent.
Here are the ramifications for the bigger issue, in which the US warns Russia may attack Ukraine with up to 190,000 troops massed along its borders.
Separatists from Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions declared themselves autonomous “people’s republics” in 2014, but Kiev has yet to acknowledge them. Since then, Ukraine claims 15,000 people have died in battle. Russia denies involvement in the crisis, but has provided covert military support, financial help, COVID-19 vaccinations, and at least 800,000 Russian passports to locals. The Kremlin has consistently denied invading
INTENTION FOR RUSSIAN RECOGNITION
Russian officials for the first time state Donbass is not part of Ukraine. That might allow Moscow to openly send military soldiers into separatist regions, claiming to be protecting them from Ukraine. Alexander Borodai, a former Donetsk political leader, told Reuters last month that rebels will turn to Russia for assistance in regaining control of Ukrainian-held territory in Donetsk and Luhansk. If that happens, Russia and Ukraine may engage in open armed war.
MINSK PEACE PROCESS
The Russian acceptance basically kills the 2014-15 Minsk peace accords, which were considered by all parties, including Moscow, as the greatest hope for a solution. The treaties grant the two Ukrainian regions considerable autonomy.
For months, Western nations have been warning Moscow that any military deployment across the Ukrainian border would be met with harsh consequences, including financial.
“would further undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, constitute a gross violation of international law, (and) call into further question Russia’s stated commitment to continue to engage in diplomacy to achieve a peaceful resolution of this crisis” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week.
He warned the US and its allies would need to respond “swift and firm”