The Minsk agreements no longer exist as Russia has recognized the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR), Russian President Vladimir Putin stated during a press conference on February 22.
He explained the decision to recognise the independence of the DPR and LPR by Ukraine's refusal to comply with the Minsk agreements. According to Putin, it was impossible to wait any longer.
"In this sense, yes, of course, the Minsk agreement are no more. Why fulfill them if we recognised the independence of these entities,” Putin said, announcing the end of the agreements.
In addition, Putin stated that Moscow recognised the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR) within the boundaries specified in their constitutions, that is, within the borders of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Thus, the Russian president put an end to the issue of the borders of Russia-recognised Donbass republics.
The decree recognising the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics as independent states was signed by the President of Russia on February 21. Members of the Russian Security Council advised him to take such a decision. The meeting of the Security Council took place after the leaders of the DPR and LPR Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik appealed to Putin on February 21 with a request to recognise the sovereignty of the republics.
Answering a question about Russia's plans to deploy troops in the Donbass, Putin said:
“Firstly, I did not say that our troops would immediately go there right after our meeting with you here. Secondly, it is generally impossible to predict a specific outline of possible actions, it depends on the specific situation that is going to develop on the spot, on the ground, as they say.”
A Russian fighter with call sign Rassvet (Sunrise) destroyed an Abrams tank in the area of Avdiivka, the 15th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade said