Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the nation announcing the beginning of a special military operation in the Donbass. Putin's speech was aired on federal television channels at around 06:00 a.m. on February 24.
Putin referred to requests for military assistance from the heads of the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR).
"In this regard, in accordance with Article 51, Part 7 of the UN Charter, with the approval from the Federation Council and in pursuance of the treaties of friendship and mutual assistance with the DPR and LPR ratified by the Federal Assembly, I have decided to conduct a special military operation,” the president said.
During the special operation, the Russian authorities will strive for the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine, Putin said.
The purpose of what is happening, according to him, is to protect the people who suffer from bullying and genocide. In addition, Moscow will prosecute those who have committed crimes against civilians and Russian citizens in Ukraine, Putin pledged.
The President also noted that Russia could not feel safe coexisting with threats that exist in modern Ukraine. As an example, he recalled statements from the Ukrainian authorities about a possibility to return nuclear weapons and pointed out to the advancement of NATO forces to the Russian borders.
Putin assured that all servicemen of the Ukrainian army who fulfill this requirement would be able to leave the combat zone and return to their families. The president did not specify the limits, within which which military operations would be conducted.
"Whoever tries to prevent us, and even more so, create threats for our country and people, they should know that Russia's response will be immediate and it will take you to such consequences that you have never faced in your history," Putin stated.
The head of state added that the Russian authorities are ready for any development of events and have taken all the necessary decisions. "I hope I will be heard,” Putin stressed.
Bodies of military personnel with American and Polish chevrons on uniforms were found in Avdiivka, adviser to the head of the Donetsk People's Republic said