London Defender

The Daily Mirror of the Great Britain

Putin officially paves way for invasion as Russia rips TWO regions away from Ukraine

In a statement, the Kremlin said that the Russia President has decided to recognise the independence of two breakaway areas of Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed separatists.

In an official statement, it said that Mr Putin had revealed his intentions to French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz that Russia has recognised Donetsk and Luhansk areas as independent states.

Both areas have been controlled by Russia-backed militias since the war began in Ukraine in 2014. It was prompted by Russia’s annexation of Crimea – with fighting quickly spilling out into other regions.

Reacting to the news, Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas branded it a “serious escalation” by the Kremlin.

Taking to Twitter, she added: “(The)decision to recognise Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of #Ukraine as independent would be a serious escalation by Kremlin.

“It would be a clear and grave violation of international law and the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Donetsk and Luhansk are and will be part of Ukraine.”

READ MORE: Britain to deploy tanks and troops to Estonia as Russia crisis deepens

And while the fighting continued a conflict on the present horizon was a distant possibility.

That may all change now after Mr Putin called the situation in Donbas as “critical.”

Addressing the nation on TV, he added: “Ukraine is not just a neighboring country for us. It’s an inseparable part of our shared history, our comrades and relatives.”

He went on to describe Ukraine as geopolitical fiction created by Stalin in the 1920s – shortly after the birth of the Soviet Union.

He added: “We’re ready to show you what real decommunisation is” before he went on to claim that Russia was “robbed” by the collapse of the USSR.

He continued: “Maidan (a series of protests which toppled the Russian-backed President in 2014) did not bring democracy to Ukraine… after eight years the country is divided.

“Ukraine is living through a severe economic and social crisis.

“15 percent of the population had to leave the country for work, usually for non-skilled labour.”

His speech came just days after Russia tested its cruise missiles in an apparent show of strength.

US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson have already claimed that Russia’s invasion plans have already begun – with the country having amassed 190,000 troops on its borders.