Russia did it. Tonight President Putin signed the decree recognizing the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk after a very interesting meeting of the Security Council. It’s appalling nobody foresaw it as a possibility. I’ve written already in January it was possible in an unpublished paper (email me, and I’ll be glad to send it). It started last week with the Duma approving an initiative from Putin’s party to recognize the territories’ independence. Today, Putin called an emergency meeting of the Security Council to discuss this issue plus the FSB reports on Ukrainian sabotage in Russian territory.
The broadcast was supposed to be live, but there are many indicators it was recorded before. Shoigu’s wristwatch was marking 12:47, while the meeting was allegedly happening after 16:50. Valentina Matvienko’s (Chairwoman of the Federation Council) speech was clearly edited, and a frame showed Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov leaving the podium, although his speech wasn’t part of the transmission.
The Foreign Minister S. Lavrov spoke first, noting that “the West is not ready to accept Russia’s proposals for non-expansion of NATO. Nevertheless, Russia is prepared to discuss security issues with the United States, but only considering Moscow’s position on non-expansion of the alliance.” The head of the FSB, Alexander Bortnikov, said that after a battle on the border, a serviceman of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was allegedly captured. He also stressed that the FSB with the Ministry of Defense destroyed two Ukrainian “sabotage groups” that reached the border with the Russian Federation. The Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu estimated the number of Ukrainian military near the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics at 59,300 troops. At the same time, on February 8, Putin said that 100-125 thousand Ukrainian troops were allegedly concentrated near Donbas. He added that “we were left no choice. Thus, I say unequivocally: yes, we must recognize.”
Medvedev added that “We face a difficult dilemma associated with the recognition of these two territories. I remember 2008 well; I can say from experience that I had to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia at that time. We know what happened next. I won’t talk about it. This has saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.”
Matvienko said that “it became evident that the Kyiv puppet regime not only does not want to but also cannot solve anything. Ukraine needs this conflict to justify the degrading economic situation. The West needs this conflict as an anti-Russian project. That is why the Minsk agreements are not being implemented. What did the residents of Luhansk and Donetsk want? Let’s remember! They wanted the right to speak Russian. Ordinary requirements, common European values. Instead, a humanitarian catastrophe is organized. Where is the OSCE? Heads of state meet, decisions are made. For Russia, these are citizens, people. Two Slavic fraternal peoples are trying to be united. Well, how much more can you try to persuade? How much more can be explained? We need to call a spade a spade. Residents of Lugansk and Donetsk rebelled against the bloody coup. What has Russia done wrong to Ukraine?
The secretary of the Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, also called for support for the State Duma’s appeal to recognize the independence of Donbas and Luhansk. He said that “it’s not the people of Ukraine who organized; they are intimidated, forced to follow this path. Organized by the United States! It would be advisable to respond to Biden’s proposal to hold negotiations in which you (Putin) could say that you did everything against the people of the DPR and LPR, and we all to support them. If you do everything to stop the massacre there, we can have a dialogue.”
The director of the SVR (Foreign Intelligence Service) Sergei Naryshkin said that “the thesis about Russia’s plans to invade Ukraine was born within the walls of the U.S. State Department and promoted to such limits that it resembles war propaganda. This was done to provoke Kyiv to try to solve the problem of Donbas by military means. We have no right to allow this.”
When Putin’s requested him to speak clearly, he misspoke and replied that he supported “the proposal to join the DPR and LPR into the Russian Federation.” Putin himself noted that it is only about the recognition of independence.
Putin: – You propose to start the negotiation process
Naryshkin: – Oh, no, I… I… support…
Putin: – Or to recognize their sovereignty?
Naryshkin: – Oh, me, I… support…
Putin: – Speak, speak straight!
Naryshkin: – I will support the proposal for recognition…
Putin: – Will I support or support? Speak straight, Sergey Evgenyevich!
Naryshkin: – I support the proposal to…
Putin: – So say: yes or no.
Naryshkin: – That’s what I say, yes… I support the proposal to join the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics into the Russian Federation.
Putin: – Yes, you… We’re not talking about it, we’re not discussing it. We’re talking about recognizing their independence or not.
Naryshkin: – Yes… I support the proposal to recognize independence.