Russian President Vlamidir Putin has signed the presidential decree recognising the independence of separatist regions in eastern Ukraine – a move that will severely ratchet up tensions with the West amid fears of a Russian invasion.
Putin’s announcement comes after a meeting of the presidential Security Council and paves the way for Russia to openly send troops and weapons to the long-running conflict pitting Ukrainian forces against Moscow-backed rebels.
Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmon reports from Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv.
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