Putin orders Russian forces to "perform peacekeeping functions" in eastern Ukraine's breakaway regions

1 minute read

Russian President Vladimir Putin signs documents, including a decree recognising two Russian-backed breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent entities, during a ceremony in Moscow, Russia, in this picture released February 21, 2022. Sputnik/Alexey Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

MOSCOW, Feb 22 (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin ordered his defence ministry to despatch Russian forces to "perform peacekeeping functions" in eastern Ukraine's two breakaway regions, according to a decree published early on Tuesday after he said Moscow would recognise their independence.

Putin earlier signed decrees to recognise the two breakaway regions -- the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic and the Lugansk People's Republic -- as independent statelets defying Western warnings that such a step would be illegal and kill off long-running peace negotiations. read more

(This story refiles to clarify text of Putin order)

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
Reporting by Maria Kiselyova Editing by Andrew Osborn and Jon Boyle

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.