January 29, 2023

Russia-Ukraine live updates and latest news

Russia’s Security Council on Monday called on President Vladimir Putin to recognize the independence of two Russian – backed separatist regions in eastern Ukraine, which could provide him with an excuse to occupy Ukraine, especially after Moscow’s claims that Kiev forces are invading the region.

Putin will make a decision late Monday.

Ukrainian officials have denied the allegations in a statement issued Friday stating “Similar, baseless allegations concerning Russia’s intelligence have been made more than once. Western officials have repeatedly warned that Moscow is creating a reason for the invasion.

All members of Putin’s Hawkish Security Council supported the recognition of the two regions, which they call the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic. About 800,000 Russians live in both areas.

Putin called a meeting of the Extraordinary Security Council last week after accusing him of “genocide” in Ukraine without preparing evidence.

This decision violates the 2015 Minsk Peace Accords between France and Germany, which are designed to return both regions to Kiev’s control.

One by one, Security Council officials urged Putin to recognize the regions, arguing that Kiev was trying to “stifle” the conflict in eastern Ukraine, preventing a solution and leaving Russia to cover regional costs.

Putin said it was clear that Ukraine had no intention of implementing the Minsk agreement, which would require Kiev to pass laws granting autonomy to the regions.

Kyiv officials say the laws will allow Moscow to use separatist areas and veto its pro-Western stance on Ukraine’s foreign policy.

Putin said Russia had done everything possible to resolve the situation peacefully, but that Ukrainian authorities had in the past “carried out military operations in these areas” and would do so again.

Dmitry Medvedev, chairman of the Deputy Security Council, said that since Moscow began issuing Russian passports to Ukrainians in recent years, it should protect Russians living in the Moscow region.