Putin announces special military operation in Donbas region



Russian President Vladimir Putin has authorized troops to carry out a special military operation in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, Russian news agencies said on Thursday.

In a televised speech, Putin said the operation aims to protect people in the region and that Russia does not plan to occupy Ukrainian territory.

Further expansion of NATO and its use of Ukraine's territory is unacceptable, he said, adding that Russia cannot tolerate threats coming from Ukraine.

He warned that Russia would react immediately in case of foreign interference.

The announcement came after Putin signed decrees recognizing the "Luhansk People's Republic" and the "Donetsk People's Republic" in eastern Ukraine as independent and sovereign states on Monday.