Putin announces the start of “special military operation” in Ukraine

Putin says Russia has launched a “special military operation” in support of Donbas. The President noted Russia does not plan to occupy Ukrainian territories, but “stands for the right of the peoples of Ukraine to self-determination.”

He said that Moscow would seek to “demilitarize and denazify” Ukraine, called on the Ukrainian military to lay down their arms and warned of an immediate response in case of attempts to intervene in “what is happening from the outside.”

Putin says he made the decision after the appeal of the heads of the two Donbas republics.

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