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Putin orders troops into Ukraine rebel region on ‘peacekeeping mission’

Russian President, Vladimir Putin has ordered troops into two rebel-held regions in Ukraine on alleged “peacekeeping” operations.

After weeks of massing troops around Ukraine, Russia says it now recognises the rebel-held Donetsk and Lugansk regions as ‘independent’.

In an often angry 65-minute televised national address from his office, Putin railed against Ukraine as a failed state and “puppet” of the West.

Putin said it was necessary to “take a long-overdue decision, to immediately recognise the independence” of the two regions.

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His action prompted a furious response from the West with the United States denouncing the move at the UN Security Council as a “pretext for war”.

The Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky has also reacted, saying they are not afraid.

“We are on our own land. We are not afraid of anything or anyone.”

Credit: AFP

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