The Kremlin announced Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin will recognize the independence of two territories in eastern Ukraine that are under the control of Russian-backed separatists, The New York Times reported.

Putin told French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz of his decision in phone calls Monday, the Times reported.


“The president of Russia said that he intended to sign the relevant decree in the near future,” the Kremlin said. “The president of France and the federal chancellor of Germany expressed their disappointment with this development. At the same time, they indicated their readiness to continue contacts.”

The Russian-backed separatists claim Donetsk and Luhansk in Ukraine’s eastern region of Donbas as their own, but control only about a third of them, the Times reported.

>>> Commentary: Russian Nuclear Exercise a Reminder That Nuclear Deterrence Isn’t Relic of Past

Putin attended a session of the Russian Security Council earlier Monday, where he accused the U.S. and its allies of using Ukraine “as an instrument of confrontation,” the Times reported. Putin said the matter was “a serious, very big threat to us.”

Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops along the Ukrainian border. Although it denies it plans to invade, the Kremlin has demanded NATO rescind its promise to admit Ukraine into the organization, which NATO has flatly refused to do.

On Friday, the Ukrainian government accused Russia of rigging explosives in eastern Ukraine in an attempt to manufacture a “false-flag” terrorist attack as a pretext to invade.

Macron announced Sunday that he had gotten Putin and President Joe Biden to agree to “the principle” of a summit in an attempt to de-escalate the conflict, but officials from both countries cast doubt on whether a meeting actually would take place.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the url or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.