The situation in Donbass remains tense with Ukrainian forces building up in the region.
Following an appeal from the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, Moscow recognised them as independent nations. President Vladimir Putin noted the move should have occurred "long ago", and also urged Kiev to "immediately stop hostilities" in the region, saying that otherwise, the Ukrainian regime would be responsible for any possible bloodshed.
The recognition prompted a response from an array of Western countries, including the US and the UK, threatening to impose sanctions against Russia. The White House said it will announce a new round of sanctions during the day.
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