take w grain of salt, yahoo is MSM spouting the 'agenda'
Putin confirms "partial withdrawal" of troops but signals threat not over
Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed Tuesday that he had decided to withdraw some troops from the border with Ukraine and was prepared to re-enter security negotiations with the U.S. and NATO.
Why it matters: The partial pullback marks the first sign of de-escalation since Russia began its massive military mobilization near Ukraine late last year, but Putin also made clear the threat is not over.
Asked if troops will continue to withdraw or could ultimately move into Ukraine, Putin said that would depend on "the development of the situation locally" and the steps other parties take.
Driving the news: Speaking alongside German Chancellor Olaf Schoz, Putin stressed that "of course" he does not want war to break out in Europe, but that this is why it is so important that Russia's security demands are accepted by the U.S. and NATO.
Close observers of Russia's military movements note that while a relatively small number of forces do appear to be moving back, those movements thus far pale in comparison to the arrivals of additional troops and equipment just in the past few days.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg earlier on Tuesday welcomed Russia's signals that is prepared for additional diplomacy, but said he'd seen no signs of de-escalation on the military front.
The big picture: A day after Russia's foreign minister said diplomatic efforts with the West "are far from exhausted," Putin announced he was ready for new talks with the U.S. and NATO on missile deployments in Europe and military transparency.
The Western alliance last month proposed a narrow set of "confidence-building" measures that the two sides could work on to defuse tensions, but ruled out any freeze on NATO expansion — Russia's top demand.
Addressing Russia's concerns about Ukraine joining NATO, Scholz said he does not believe eastern expansion will be on the agenda for the duration that either he or Putin will be in office.
Putin did not appear reassured. "They say it won't happen tomorrow," he said of NATO expansion, "but what about the day after tomorrow?" He added that the talks must cover Russia's demands, not just the issues NATO put forward.
"We are afraid that the negotiations on the important matters to us, security matters, could be drawn out without [progress]," Putin said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed Tuesday that he had decided to withdraw some troops from the border with Ukraine and was prepared to re-enter security negotiations with the U.S. and NATO.Why it matters: The partial pullback marks the first sign of de-escalation since Russia began its...
Donetsk, Ukraine explosion raises fears of ‘false flag,’ Russian invasion
By Callie Patteson
February 18, 2022
A reported explosion in eastern Ukraine that set part of a gas pipeline ablaze late Friday was feared to be the latest facet of a “false flag” operation being used by Russian President Vladimir Putin to justify an invasion of the independent nation.
The pipeline fire struck near Luhansk in a pro-Moscow, separatist-controlled region hours after an apparent car bomb blast in Donetsk that set off fears the Russian invasion had already begun.
The blasts and subsequent reports by Russian media sparked speculation that the “false flag” operation that international authorities had warned about is now underway, with Moscow possibly faking Ukrainian aggression toward separatists ahead of its invasion.
The pipeline blast has reportedly been blamed on Ukrainians by pro-Russia media, and outlets are reporting that Ukraine is planning an offensive in Donbas.
The vehicle exploded in a parking lot in the center of the city at around 7:00 p.m. Moscow time, reported Russian state-run media agency RIA Novosti, which cited a Telegram channel for the People’s Militia Department of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.
The blast reportedly could be heard throughout the city of about 900,000 people.
Alleged images from the scene showed a vehicle engulfed in flames. Later pictures indicated the car was nearly completely destroyed, with just its front half intact.
Other Russian-backed news agencies claimed the vehicle belonged to Denis Sinenkov, chief of the People’s Militia. It was not immediately clear if anyone was killed or severely injured in the blast, though some reports claimed one person was injured.
The Post was unable to immediately confirm who the vehicle belonged to or who was behind the explosion.
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Putin signs decrees on recognizing Donetsk and Lugansk republics
Putin also signed with the leaders of the DPR and LPR the treaties on friendship, cooperation and mutual aid
MOSCOW, February 21. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decrees at the ceremony in the Kremlin on recognizing the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.
Speaking in a televised address to the citizens earlier, Putin explained: "I believe it is necessary to take this long overdue decision. I immediately recognize the independence and sovereignty of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic."
The Russian leader asked the Federal Assembly to back this decision and then ratify the treaties on friendship and mutual aid with both republics. While announcing this decision, the president voiced confidence about the support of Russian citizens and all patriotic forces in the country.
Later, Putin met with the DPR and LPR leaders, Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik, and signed with them the treaties on friendship, cooperation and mutual aid between Russia and both republics. The ceremony was held in the Kremlin’s St. Catherine Hall, which hosted the meeting of the Russian Security Council. At this meeting, the Security Council’s members called for recognizing the independence of the DPR and LPR.
Also in St. Catherine Hall, before inking the friendship treaties, Putin signed the decrees on recognizing the DPR and LPR, and congratulated both leaders.
Can we get plane loads of hot Ukrainian women refugees? We got Iraqis, Afghani's Syrians, Somalians and every other backwards assed countries people coming here. Be nice to have some hot women refugees for a change.