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Russia: Kiev's Move to Сut Ties With Moscow 'Logical Conclusion of Its Russophobic Policy'

© Sputnik / Natalia Seliverstova / Go to the mediabankThe building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in Moscow
The building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in Moscow - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.02.2022
Earlier on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the beginning of a special operation in Ukraine aimed at the demilitarisation and denazification of the country.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Thursday that Kiev had severed diplomatic relations with Moscow.
"This morning has gone down in history, but this history is absolutely different for our country and Russia. And we have broken off diplomatic ties with Russia", Zelensky told a news briefing.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has reacted by telling Sputnik that Kiev's move to cut relations with Moscow is a "logical conclusion to its Russophobic policy". The ministry underlined that the severance of bilateral diplomatic ties was "not our choice".
This was preceded by Zelensky saying on 22 February that he had received a request from the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry to break off diplomatic relations with Russia.
Thursday's developments come after Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier in the day that Russia had started a military operation in Ukraine, following requests from the Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR) People's Republics for assistance.
"The circumstances make us take decisive and immediate actions. […] In this regard, in accordance with Article 51, Part 7 of the UN Charter, with the sanction of the Federation Council and in pursuance of the friendship and mutual assistance treaties with the DPR and LPR, ratified by the Federal Assembly, I have decided to conduct a special military operation", Putin said in a televised address.
He underscored that the special operation's goal is to "protect people who have been subjected to abuse, genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years".
"And for this we will strive to demilitarise and denazify Ukraine, as well as bring to justice those who committed numerous bloody crimes against peaceful residents, including citizens of the Russian Federation", Putin added.
Russia's Defence Ministry has, meanwhile, stressed that the nation's military is not launching strikes against Ukrainian cities, focusing instead on destroying Ukraine's military infrastructure via high-precision weapons, which don't pose a threat to the civilian population.
On 21 February, Putin announced that Moscow was recognising the DPR and LPR as independent nations and signed friendship treaties with them, which included provisions for collective defence and security and allows Moscow to deploy a peacekeeping mission there.
The decision came in the wake of the deteriorating situation on the line of contact between Kiev's forces and the Donbass republics, with the Ukrainian Army intensifying the shelling of cities and positions of the DPR and LPR last week. A monitoring mission of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has spotted over 2,000 ceasefire violations, with the LPR saying that the OSCE recorded Kiev violating humanitarian law.
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