Putin started his urgent address to the nation with an insight into the history of Ukraine and its foundation. The Ukraine that we know today was created during the times of Bolshevist Russia, he said.
Putin in particular said that today's Ukraine was completely created by Lenin.
Today's Ukraine can be referred to as "The Ukraine in the name of Vladimir Lenin"," Putin said. He was the author and the architect of Ukraine," he added.
"The main objective of the Bolsheviks was to stay in power after the revolution. Lenin's principles of state building were much worse than just a mistake," he said. It was Bolsheviks, who literally squeezed the Donbass into Ukraine.
Afterwards, Putin proceeded to say that in today's Ukraine, the "thankful descendants" demolish monuments to Lenin and call it decommunisation.
Russia is ready to show Ukraine what real decommunisation is.
"Do you want decommunisation? Well, we are fine with it," he said.
After the collapse of the USSR, the Russian people recognised the new geopolitical reality, including the new states that had been formed.
Putin also reminded of the fact that it was Russia, but not post-Soviet states that repaid the debt of the former Soviet Union, including Ukraine's debt. Russia recognised the new states after the collapse of the USSR and was then helping the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, including Ukraine.
Despite all the problems, Russia was cooperating with Ukraine openly and honestly. However, partnership was soon replaced with parasitism, Putin said, recalling how Ukraine was blackmailing Russia with its gas transit system, while stealing natural gas from Russia in broad daylight.
Ukraine has never had true statehood of its own, Putin said, recalling the scale of corruption of Ukraine.
Putin then recalled the civil war in Ukraine, violent Maidan riots and the brutal killings of civilians in Odessa, when many were burned alive in the House of Trade Unions.
"No one was punished for that, but we know the perpetrators by name. We will do everything to bring them to justice," Putin said.
Today, Ukraine is split. The country lives through an acute economic crisis.
Western organisations show direct influence on practically all spheres of life in Ukraine.
There is no independent statehood in Ukraine — everything depends on what Westerners say. Western organisations get so involved in Ukraine to struggle against corruption, but nothing has been flourishing in Ukraine, but corruption lately, he said.
The power of Ukrainian patriots has deprived the nation of its national character and leads the country to the loss of its sovereignty.
Foreign advisors are in charge of Ukrainian intelligence services. "We are well aware of that," he said.
The USA and NATO have proceeded to openly develop the territory of Ukraine as a theatre of military actions.
NATO plans to conduct a number of major military exercises with Ukraine as a cover to build up its military forces in the country.
NATO has established a command centre in the city of Ochakov to be able to target and destroy Russia's Black Fleet. The USA and NATO had similar plans for the Crimea, but the people of the Crimea disrupted those plans.
International documents stipulate that states should not strengthen their security to the detriment of other countries, he recalled. This particular reason makes Ukraine's membership at NATO unacceptable for Russia, because in this case Ukraine will pose a serious and direct threat to the Russian Federation.
"They still try to convince us that NATO is a peaceful alliance. They say that we should believe them," Putin said referring to NATO's past plans not to expand to the east after the unification of Germany.
NATO may already be in charge of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The United States supports terrorism in Northern Caucasus and openly ignores Russia's interests in international treaties. The USA does not need Russia neither as a country, nor as a partner.
"Why make us look like an enemy?" Putin wondered.
NATO has come too close to Russia's borders, and the appearance of military infrastructure in Ukraine is a question that has already been decided. NATO wants to come to Ukraine to be able to strike Russia hard and all of a sudden. Ukraine will be used as a platform for this attack against Russia. From Ukraine, NATO will be able to control all of Russia's territory to Urals. Tomahawk missiles will be able to fly to Moscow in 35 minutes, whereas NATO's ICBMs will be able to reach Moscow in 5 minutes.
The Americans use Ukraine, like they used Georgia, to conduct anti-Russian policy.
NATO has had five waves of expansion. Russia was fooled.
"Sanctions will follow anyway. They will continue to impose them, just because we exist, no matter what. Russia has a full right to take measures in response to ensure its sovereignty. And this is what we are going to do," Putin stated.
The Ukrainian authorities are not interested in the peaceful settlement of the Donbass crisis. They shell the Donbass almost every day. The killings of civilians, the harassment of women and children never stops. The "civilized" world, however, prefers to turn a blind eye on that. They refuse to acknowledge the genocide in the Donbass.
"For how long can one tolerate all that? For how long will it last?" Putin asked.
Presidents and MPs in Ukraine change, but the regime remains the same. They do not acknowledge any solution to the Donbass crisis other than military.
"Therefore, I believe we should make a decision to immediately recognise the independence of the People's Republic of Donetsk and of the People's Republic of Luhansk," Putin said in conclusion.
After the speech, Vladimir Putin signed decrees to recognise the independence and sovereignty of the People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Putin also signed treaties on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with the leaders of Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik.
According to Medvedev, Ukraine's GDP may fall by another 5-10 percent in 2023 due to the continuation of the special military operation