Putin orders military to Ukrainian breakaway regions for 'peacekeeping functions'

Western leaders fear that Putin's orders may lead to a larger global war.

Updated: February 21, 2022 - 5:30pm

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Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered his military to the Ukrainian breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk for "peacekeeping operations."

Putin's orders came in a decree recognizing the independence the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic in the Dunbass region of eastern Ukraine.

The Kremlin-recognized heads of Donetsk and Lugansk both signed a "Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance" with Putin.

The Russian leader directed the military to conduct "peacekeeping operations" in Donetsk and Lugansk, according to a translation by Axios. Western leaders fear that Putin's orders may lead to a larger global war.

President Joe Biden responded to Putin's recogination of the occupied Ukrainian territories by announcing plans to issue an executive order banning trade in the breakaway regions.

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