Speed Reads

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Putin's speech about invading Ukraine was reportedly filmed 3 days ago

Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly had his invasion announcement queued up and ready to go "live."

The Daily Beast cites Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta in reporting that Putin filmed his announcement of a "special military operation" in Ukraine three days ago, though it wasn't broadcast until early Thursday morning in Russia.

Metadata from the Kremlin website reportedly shows that the speech, in which Putin said Russia would take "decisive, swift action" in eastern Ukraine, was recorded on Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. Moscow time.

That's also about when Putin announced Moscow would recognize the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, a precursor to a full-scale invasion. As the Daily Beast writes: "Russian-based Conflict Intelligence Team pointed out that Putin was wearing the exact same suit and tie in Thursday's broadcast as he wore when he announced that Russia was to recognize two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine." 

Aside from apparently filming the two annoucements at the same time then spacing out their broadcasts, Russia also reportedly issued a no-fly notice dated Feb. 22, per the CIT. "That could suggest that a mass invasion of Ukraine had been planned for February 22, but was delayed for reasons we do not know," wrote the group.