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Russia launches military operation in Donbass, Putin urges Ukrainian military to lay down arms

The Russian President called on the Ukrainian military not to follow criminal orders and to immediately lay down their arms and go home (Image courtesy: Kremlin.ru)

Russian President Vladimir Putin today announced that he had decided on a special military operation in eastern Ukraine's Donbass region after the Kremlin received requests from the breakaway region for help in repelling threats from Kiev.

"Kiev is continuing its military buildup along the line of disengagement, simultaneously receiving comprehensive support, including military one, from the United States and other Western states. The Kiev regime is determined to resolve the conflict by force," the letters to Putin said according to Russian news agency Tass.

Putin had on Monday signed decrees, announcing immediate recognition of the "independence and sovereignty" of the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic while deploying troops into "independent republics" for peacekeeping functions.

"Circumstances require us to take decisive and immediate action. The People's Republics of Donbass turned to Russia with a request for help. In this regard, in accordance with Article 51, part 7 of the UN Charter, with the sanction of the Federation Council and in pursuance of the friendship treaties ratified by the Federal Assembly and mutual assistance with the DPR and LPR, I have decided to conduct a special military operation," Putin said in a televised address to the nation.

Putin, reported state-owned domestic news agency RIA Novosti, also said that clashes between Russia and nationalist forces in Ukraine are "inevitable" even though Moscow does not plan to occupy Ukraine and is striving for its demilitarization.

"Its goal (Russian special operations) is to protect people who have been subjected to abuse, genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years, and for this we will strive to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine, as well as bring to justice those who committed numerous bloody crimes against peaceful residents, including citizens of the Russian Federation," Putin said.

"It's only a matter of time. They are getting ready, they are waiting for the right time. Now they are also claiming to possess nuclear weapons. We will not let them do that," he added.

The Russian President called on the Ukrainian military not to follow criminal orders and to immediately lay down their arms and go home.

"The Ukrainian ruling regime will be wholly and entirely responsible for the possible continuation of the bloodshed," said Putin.

Earlier this week, the Russian President had said that the United States alone, since 2014, has allocated billions of dollars for the purpose of supplying weapons, equipment, and training of specialists in Ukraine. He had alleged that, in recent months, Western weapons are coming to Ukraine just in a continuous stream, defiantly, in front of the whole world.

Meanwhile, the US President Joe Biden has said that Putin has chosen war that will lead to a catastrophic loss of life.

"The prayers of the entire world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces. President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering. Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable," Biden said in a statement. 

Also Read: At the UN, India rejects war – says Ukraine situation should be resolved through quiet diplomacy