Speed Reads

An imminent decision

Putin to decide on Ukrainian separatist regions' independence by end of day

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that he would decide by day's end whether he would recognize two Russian-backed separatist regions in eastern Ukraine as independent — a move that could provide a pretext for him to invade the country, The Washington Post reports

The regions, calling themselves the Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic, are home to roughly 800,000 Russians, and Putin last week alleged, without providing evidence, that Ukraine had committed "genocide" in the areas.

A recognition of independence would breach a 2015 peace agreement meant to return the two regions to Ukrainian control. Referring to the agreement at a Monday meeting of his Security Council, Putin said it was "clear to all that this range of measures is not going to be implemented in any way," and that Russia had been working "to resolve all the complexities."