Putin Orders Troops Into Separatist-Controlled Ukrainian Territories

Photo by MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed his defense ministry to deploy troops into two separatist-controlled Ukrainian territories after declaring them independent Monday.

Putin followed up an aggressive, anti-Ukraine speech by signing decrees recognizing the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, The New York Times reported.

The decrees order the Russian armed forces to enter the separatist territories for “peacekeeping” purposes, Financial Times’ Moscow bureau chief Max Seddon tweeted.

“In connection with appeal of DPR to Ministry of Defense of Russia to ensure, before conclusion of agreement referred to in paragraph 3 of Decree, the exercise by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation on territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic of peacekeeping functions,” one decree reads, according to a translation tweeted by The Guardian’s Moscow correspondent Andrew Roth.

Putin’s announcement prompted an executive order from President Joe Biden Monday afternoon. Biden’s executive order “will prohibit new investment, trade, and financing by U.S. persons to, from, or in the so-called DNR and LNR regions of Ukraine,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. (RELATED: ‘Things Could Go Crazy, Quickly’: Biden Says He ‘Didn’t Have To Tell’ Putin Not To Harm Americans In Ukraine)

“This E.O. will also provide authority to impose sanctions on any person determined to operate in those areas of Ukraine,” according to Psaki, who said the administration “anticipated a move like this from Russia and are ready to respond immediately.”