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Russia is considering recognizing eastern Ukraine as an independent state

Russia is considering recognizing eastern Ukraine as an independent state

Russian authorities say a Ukrainian grenade attack destroyed a Russian border post used by the Federal Security Service. Ukraine describes the accusations as “fake news”. At the same time, Putin is considering recognizing the eastern separatist regions of Ukraine as an independent state.

A satellite image from February 20 this year shows Russian forces in Solotti in Russia, near the border with Ukraine. Russian authorities now claim that Ukraine destroyed a border post.

On Monday, the Russian president held a meeting to discuss the Duma’s proposal to recognize the independence of separatist-held regions in eastern Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin announced that a decision will be made later today.

According to Putin, the Duma’s proposal to recognize Donetsk and Luhansk as independents is now being considered by the Kremlin. Since 2014, Russian-backed separatists, who have been at war with Ukrainian government forces, have controlled the two separatist regions.

Over 14,000 people were killed, and most of what was once Ukraine’s most important industrial area was destroyed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting of the Russian Security Council on Monday.

On Monday, Luhansk separatist leader Leonid Bashnik called on Putin to recognize the breakaway region as an independent republic in a video broadcast on Russian television.

Denis Pushlin, the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, made a similar appeal.

This is happening on the day of new accusations of attacks and “fake news” between Russia and Ukraine.

Accusations of attacks in eastern Ukraine

– February 21, at 9:50 (local time) an unidentified shell fired from Ukraine destroyed a border post used by border guards of the Federal Security Service in the Rostov region, about 150 meters from the Russian-Ukrainian border, the Russian Security Service wrote in a statement .

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They added that no one was injured in the accident. The FSB security service also published a video showing, among other things, a small building with its roof and walls destroyed. The video has not been verified, nor is it clear exactly where the alleged attack took place.

Ukraine denies responsibility for such a grenade attack, describing the accusations as “fake news”.

“They carry out various provocations and spread false news every day, even twice a day,” said Pavlo Kovalchuk, spokesman for a joint military operation against Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine also reached out to the allegations on Twitter:

“We couldn’t stop them from producing this fake news, but we always stress that we don’t shoot at civilian infrastructure,” he said.

Reuters reported a similar incident in the same border area shortly afterwards on the same day. The Russian military said that Russian forces and border guards prevented Ukrainian “saboteurs” from crossing the Ukraine-Russia border. According to the Russian army, five of them were killed in the clashes. The Ukrainian military refers to all of this as “fake news.”

The West recently warned against an escalation of the conflict, but also warned of orchestrated attacks that Russia and pro-Russian separatists could use as a pretext to launch an invasion of Ukraine.

Last week, the southern Rostov region declared a state of emergency due to the expected influx of civilians from rebel-held territory where evacuation orders were issued.