February 21, 2022
Russia has exerted efforts and still continues to make efforts to resolve all the complicated aspects and tragic developments by peaceful means, but we have what we have.Russian Pres. Putin mapping out an alternative account of the contested territory in Ukraine – he says Ukraine has “literally tortured (local people) by constant shelling and blockades.”
- Pres. Putin held a meeting with his top officials on the topic of Ukraine, specifically the contested areas where Russian-backed forces have fought for the past 8 years.
- In this meeting, Pres. Putin laid out his argument for the threat against Russia, saying that “the use of Ukraine as a tool for confronting this country … presents a major and serious threat to us.”
- Why It Matters: Pres. Putin communicates his view that the contested areas of Ukraine – first invaded by Russia in 2014 – were the sequestered byproduct of an illegal coup, which trapped innocent people who wanted closer affiliation with Russia instead of the rogue Ukrainian government. This paints a picture of a vulnerable region that needs Russia’s help – a potential argument for Russian forces to formally invade.
- Breaking News: Pres. Putin recognized these two areas as “independent” later in the meeting; this wording seems to set the stage for what he is classifying as Russian military support.
by Jenna Lee,