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Ukrainian President Zelensky said “we will not give anything to anyone”

Russian President Putin signed decrees recognizing two controversial breakaway regionsDonetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic, on Monday in a ceremony broadcast by state television.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken previously promised “a quick and firm response” from the US and its allies and partners if Russia moves to recognize it. Ukraine’s breakaway regions is part of Russian territory, calling such action “a complete violation of international law.”

This is why it makes sense to recognize regions organized by the separatistst:

War broke out in 2014 after Russian-backed rebels seized government buildings in towns and cities across eastern Ukraine. Fierce fighting has left the eastern Luhansk and Donetsk regions of the Donbas region in the hands of Russian-backed separatists. Russia also annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 in a move that drew global condemnation.

The separatist-controlled areas of the Donbas are known as the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) and the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). The Ukrainian government in Kyiv insists that the two regions are in fact occupied by Russia. The self-proclaimed republics were not recognized by any government, including Russia, until Monday. The Ukrainian government refuses to have direct dialogue with either of the two breakaway republics.

The 2015 Minsk II agreement resulted in a shaky cease-fire, and the conflict turned into static war along the Line of Communication separating the Ukrainian government and separatist-controlled areas. The Minsk Agreements (named for the capital of Belarus where they were signed) prohibit heavy weapons near the Line of Communication.

The language surrounding the conflict is heavily politicized. The Ukrainian government calls the separatists “invaders” and “occupiers”. Russian media refer to the separatists as “militia” and claim that they are locals defending themselves against the Kyiv government.

More than 14,000 people have been killed in the conflict in the Donbas since 2014. Ukraine says 1.5 million people have been forced to flee their homes, with most staying in the Donbas regions still controlled by Ukraine. and about 200,000 people resettled in the greater Kyiv region.

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