Putin: Donbass Tragedy Forced Russia to Start Special Military Operation in Ukraine
10:36 GMT 20.04.2022 (Updated: 11:15 GMT 20.04.2022)
© Sputnik / Mikhail KlimentievRussian President Vladimir Putin during video conference call on economic issues, 18 April 2022
© Sputnik / Mikhail Klimentiev/
The president ordered the launch of the special military operation in Ukraine on 24 February following a request for help from the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR).
Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that the tragedy taking place in Donbass "forced" Russia to start the special military operation in Ukraine. The president lamented that the residents of Donbass have been suffering from the bombings for the past eight years.
"Unfortunately, in the Lugansk People's Republic, a lot has changed for the worse. Because all these eight years it has been suffering from bombings, artillery strikes and hostilities. And of course, it was very, very difficult for people [living there]," the president said.
Putin promised that Russia will be acting consistently and will ensure that there will be peace in Donbass.
The special operation was launched by Putin on 24 February following requests from the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR), which had been reporting intensified shelling from Ukraine in the weeks prior to that date. Hostilities had continued in Donbass with varying intensity over the past eight years – ever since DPR and LPR decided to secede from Ukraine following the Western-backed 2014 coup in Kiev.
11 April 2022, 05:01 GMT
Announcing the operation in February, Putin underscored Kiev's failure to implement the Minsk agreements signed in 2015. These agreements contained a roadmap for re-integrating the DPR and LPR back into Ukraine peacefully. Over the past years, Kiev has repeatedly questioned the necessity of the Minsk accords and made veiled hints that they should be ditched.
Moscow warned that such rhetoric might indicate Ukraine's willingness to return the Donbass republics using its military. The Kremlin called on the Western countries to pressure Kiev to fulfil the Minsk accords, but to no avail.