Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the Russian Defense Ministry to send Russian troops into the territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk People's republics.
According to the decree signed by Putin, the Ministry of Defense is instructed to "ensure the implementation of peacekeeping functions" in the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics with the help of the armed forces of the Russian Federation. According to the decree, the decision was made following the appeals of DPR and LPR leaders, Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik. The Russian Foreign Ministry is instructed to establish diplomatic relations with the republics.
Russia's treaties with the LPR and the DPR allow to use military infrastructure and military bases on each other's territory, establish joint protection of the Donbas borders. Earlier, Putin signed agreements on friendship and mutual assistance with the DPR and LPR and appealed to the Russian Federal Assembly with a request to immediately ratify them. A joint meeting of the Russian State Duma committees on the CIS and international affairs will be held at 9.00 on Tuesday, and at 12.00 the documents will be submitted for ratification, said the head of the Duma Committee Leonid Slutsky.
In an address that lasted almost an hour, Putin said the decision to recognize the DPR and LPR was "long overdue", accused the Ukrainian authorities of trying to blitzkrieg in the Donbas and issued an ultimatum. "We demand an immediate cessation of hostilities. Otherwise, all responsibility for the possible continuation of bloodshed will be entirely on the conscience of Ukraine’s ruling regime," Putin said.