Report No.5. Why Moscow has recognized two republics in Donbass? Recent analysis of the situation

1. Reasons for recognition

Russia recognized the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR) in the evening February 21, 2022 for following eight reasons:
(1) it did so in response to relevant calls made by the Russian State Duma (February 12, 2022), as well as the DPR and LPR leaders made earlier;
(2) Kiev's continuing refusal to implement all 13 provisions of the Minsk agreements approved by the UN Security Council (Resolution 2202) during nearly eight years (from 2015 till 2022) of tough talks conducted with Russia, Germany and France with the aim to persuade two Ukrainian presidents, including the current one, Volodimir Zelensky, to do so, but in vain;
(3) in January-February 2022 the Ukrainian government had amassed considerable forces along the line of disengagement with the two Donbass republics: according to the Russian Defense Ministry, Kiev has concentrated near the line of disengagement 60.000 regular troops plus illegal armed formations, 354 tanks, more than 2.000 armored combat vehicles and 600 multiple rocket launching systems (named Grad, Smerch and Uragan), plus several hundred heavy artillery pieces and heavy mortars with more than 100 mm caliber (the latter are prohibited by the Minsk agreements; item 2);
(4) on February 17, 2022 the Ukrainian Armed Forces without any warning and unilaterally started massive shelling of Donbass over the entire 400 km-long line of disengagement aiming its main social and economic infrastructure; February, 19-20 Donbass has been shelled 107 times; in 70 cases the Ukrainian Armed Forces used 122-mm artillery guns and 120-mm mortars.
(5) the Ukrainian Armed Forces have ramped up shelling of Donbass in a clear violation of the Minsk accords; the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine reported the intensification of shelling of Donbass: in February 14 there were nearly 591 ceasefire violations, and on February 18-20 there were 3.231 ceasefire violations;
(6) February 19-21 the Ukrainian Armed Forces three times shelled Rostov Region on the undisputable Russian territory and moved two armored combat vehicles into that area (they have been destroyed, 5 Ukrainian soldiers killed);
(7) at the Munich Security Conference Ukrainian president Volodimir Zelensky publicly warned the audience that Ukraine might regain nuclear weapons it has possessed till 1994 that subsequently has been relocated to Russia as a successor state of the former Soviet Union (Note: Moscow believes that such Ukrainian statement creates additional threat to Russia and European states; today Ukraine has delivery systems capable to carry tactical nuclear weapons, like shorter range ballistic missiles named “Tochka-U” used during second Ukrainian aggression versus populated areas in Donbass in 2015; that time they have been fitted with conventional warheads);
(8) the exodus of refugees from Donbass to Russia started from February 18 when the leadership of the DPR and LPR announced the evacuation of elderly people, women, and children to Russia (Note: by February 21, nearly 68,000 residents of the two republics have crossed the border and moved into Russia (Note: by February 23 this figure was around 98.000 people, including 60.000 Ukrainians and 48.000 Russians. The total figure included 31.000 children.

2. NATO policy versus the Ukrainian military drive into Donbass

Such policy has not changed.
The USA and its major allies are still inciting ultra-nationalist Kiev’s regime to continue the war against Donbass. NATO countries continue to supply Ukraine with weapons and ammunitions, and extend to it huge political and financial support. The USA has sent additionally several heavy strategic nuclear-capable bombers, B-52H to the Czech Republic (4 more of them are already in the UK), and additional medium-range DCA to Lithuania and Estonia, including the newest F-35s, presumably with nuclear weapons. 
Such actions and several provocative bellicose statements made recently by the U.S. president, NATO and the EU leaders complicate any possibility to resolve the issue in a peaceful matter.

3. Assessment of the situation by February 23

The situation in Donbass remains tense, as Kiev continues to carry out attacks in the region. According to Lugansk, on February 22 alone Ukrainian forces violated the ceasefire regime at least 114 times.
According to Denis Pushilin, the DPR leader, after Russia has recognized the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics as independent nations February, 21 the number of attacks launched by the Ukrainian Armed Forces against Donbass has increased.
For the first time the Ukrainian Armed Forces used the MRLS Grad against civilian targets in Donbass.
Denis Pushilin underscored that "at the moment, there are no Russian troops" in the Donbass republics.
Moscow decided to close down its Embassy and Consulates in Ukraine.
Written by Vladimir P. Kozin 
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