Putin Orders Forces to ‘Maintain Peace’ in Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered forces Monday to “maintain peace” in separatist regions of eastern Ukraine, hours after the Kremlin recognized the area’s independence.

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People wave Russian national flags celebrating the recognizing the independence in the center of Donetsk, the territory controlled by pro-Russian militants, eastern Ukraine, late Monday, Feb. 21, 2022. In a fast-moving political theater, Russian President Vladimir Putin has moved quickly to recognize the independence of separatist regions in eastern Ukraine in a show of defiance against the West amid fears of Russian invasion in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Alexei Alexandrov)
Image via AP Photo/Alexei Alexandrov

This article was republished here with permission from The Associated Press, however it is no longer available to read on Snopes.com.

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered forces Monday to “maintain peace” in separatist regions of eastern Ukraine, hours after the Kremlin recognized the area’s independence. The announcement raised fears that an invasion was imminent, if not already underway. The Kremlin decree, spelled out in an order signed by Putin, left unclear when, or even whether, troops would enter Ukraine. But it brought swift promises of new sanctions from the U.S. and other Western…

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