Ukraine: Expert on Putin's 'rambling speech'
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Vladimir Putin launched in an hour-long rant accusing Ukraine of having little history compared to Russia, further fuelling fears of an imminent invasion of his neighbour. In his speech, the Russian leader announced he would sign a decree recognising the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent from Kiev. But rather than rallying the people around the cause, Mr Putin appeared to leave many of his fellow countrymen “quite confused” with his rambling vision, according to Moscow Times reporter Jake Cordell.
Speaking to GB News, Mr Cordell said: “As regards to his speech, the reaction here in Russia from Russians was probably quite confused.
“It was an hour-long rambling speech – he spent 15 minutes talking about what he sees as the history of Ukraine, a history which has been thoroughly debunked.
“And we saw Putin get very angry and emotional, he often does when he talks about Ukraine.
“This is an issue he feels very personally.”
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However, Mr Cordell questioned whether Russians have any appetite to take arms against what they mostly consider to be a “brotherly nation.”
He continued: “But for Russians, Ukraine has a different space in their minds, they see it as a brotherly nation.
“But there’s no romance for these Donbass and Luhansk regions joining Russia or being recognised by Russia.
“They saw this, and this was a speech designed for the Western community, and designed for his own elites to justify what he was doing, to try and position Russia as a good-faith actor, ‘we tried to negotiate and the West didn’t listen to us therefore we have to do this.”
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted Putin has “completely torn up international law” with his actions in Ukraine and there will now be an “immediate package of economic sanctions.
The new sanctions will be aimed not just at entities at regions including Donetsk but also “in Russia itself, targeting Russian economic interests as hard as we can”.
Mr Johnson said further details will be given in the House of Commons on Tuesday.
The Prime Minister was speaking in Downing Street after a 6.30am meeting of the Cobra committee where he was briefed on the latest intelligence after Mr Putin ordered his troops to carry out “peacekeeping” duty in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
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Putin’s announcement drew international condemnation and immediate U.S. sanctions to halt US business activity in the breakaway regions and ban the import of all goods from those areas.
White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said the measures were separate from sanctions the United States and its allies had prepared if Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
A senior US official said the deployment to breakaway enclaves did not yet constitute a “further invasion” that would trigger the harshest sanctions as Russia already had forces there, but that a wider campaign could come at any time.
Britain, France, and Germany also agreed to respond to Russia’s recognition of the breakaway regions with sanctions, and the White House said it would announce further measures on Tuesday.
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