The announcement itself wasn’t a surprise as the broadcast of the security meeting was released and he called Macron and Scholz to tell them before hand. Immediately after the announcement, a separate video was broadcast of him signing the decrees.
Before he made the official announcement, he delivered a long history lesson. Then he talked about how Ukraine is controlled from the outside, including the courts. He said that corruption is increasingly bad and that Russians were being targeted.
He then went on to rail about NATO expansion and the US poisoning relations with Russia. He said the US would put sanctions on Ukraine no matter what.
I would have thought the speech would focus on conditions in Luhansk and Donetsk but he spoke about all of Ukraine. That’s ominous but it could be a bluff to convince Ukraine not to fight over the regions (or risk a broader war for the whole country).
Putin said he demanded Ukraine stop all hostilities immediately.
He didn’t offer any clues on the key questions about what the borders would be or how much military defense Russia would provide. He did sign an agreement on friendship and cooperation with the republics, and that includes military cooperation.
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