Russia has no option but recognize LPR, DPR: Russian top officials
Several top Russian officials all point to the fact that Russia has no other option but to recognize the republics in the Donbass region.
Kiev has amassed over 59,300 troops near the contact line with Lugansk and Donetsk, and Ukraine is attacking predetermined targets in the LPR (Lugansk People's Republic) and DPR (Donetsk People's Republic), Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Monday, during an unscheduled National Security Council meeting.
Top-level Russian officials expressed the joint understanding that Moscow had no option other than recognizing the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics.
"For several years now, the Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics, the citizens of these republics have been looking with hope and asking Russia to protect them in the hope of working, raising their children, living in peace," Russian Federal Security Service Director Alexander Bortnikov told the meeting.
"I am absolutely convinced that it is necessary to realize their rights and to protect them. I am convinced that the decision to recognize these republics will contribute to that. We will realize that hope," the official declared.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu backed the statement by saying "we were left no choice. So I unequivocally say 'yes.' Yes, we must recognize [the republics]."
The defense chief also highlighted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's words about Kyiv's desire to return to the status of a nuclear country, saying they were extremely dangerous.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that he saw no other option but to recognize the republics, as the West is unlikely to "come to its senses" and "change its stance."
Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev and Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Chief Sergei Naryshkin supported their colleagues on the matter.
Russia has done everything in its power to peacefully resolve the conflict in Donbass, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday in the same meeting. He added the Ukrainian authorities will not implement the Minsk agreements, "And they have declared it repeatedly."
The meeting itself was to make a decision about Donbass; however, President Putin underscored that the calls of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics should be taken into consideration when it comes to deciding the fate of the region.
The latest round of tensions over the Donbass region comes as Ukraine launches offensives against the region that the Russian State Duma is considering recognizing.
The head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, Denis Pushilin, reported on the battle of the Republic's popular forces with Ukrainian troops near the border with Russia.
The chief issued a statement detailing that the Ukrainian armed forces fired more than 1,700 shells at residential areas, bombarding Donetsk with heavy artillery, mortars, grenades, and tanks. "People are dying," noted the statement.
The Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR) accused Kyiv of repeatedly shelling the Donbass region with 120mm mortars which are banned by the Minsk accord.
The DPR Ministry of Emergency Situations said Saturday Donetsk had already evacuated 6,600 people, including nearly 2,500 children, over a dramatic escalation of tensions with Ukraine.
On using Ukraine as a tool against Moscow, Putin's words come as the West declines to respond to his country's proposals on security guarantees regarding the non-eastward expansion of NATO.