Russian Federation now recognizes Ukrainian rebel documents, passports

In particularly, the president emphasized in the decree that these measures are "provisional until a political solution is found to the situation in certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine on the basis of the Minsk agreements".

The United States says it is disturbed by Russia's decision to recognize passports and other documents issued by rebel authorities in eastern Ukraine.

A ceasefire is due to come into effect in eastern Ukraine following a deal in Munich over the weekend to halt fighting and withdraw heavy weapons from the front line.

"Identity papers, school or professional diplomas, birth and death certificates. issued by the competent bodies in the zones mentioned are recognised as valid by Russian Federation", it reads.

Speaking to reporters in Munich after meeting with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on February 18, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Putin's order was "more evidence of the Russian occupation and Russia's violation of global law".

Tens of thousands of people from eastern Ukraine have sought refuge in Russian Federation since the fighting began.

Foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin said: "This decree fundamentally contravenes the logic of the Minsk agreements".

A move by Russian Federation to recognise identity documents issued in separatist-held areas of eastern Ukraine has raised concern in Kiev and western governments over Moscow's intentions, even as efforts were under way to reinforce a shaky ceasefire in the region.

And the former acting President, Oleksandr Turchynov, now the head of Ukraine's national security and defence council, echoed this, saying the Kremlin had "completely ruled out" a return to the ceasefire agreement.

Russian Federation has not formally recognized the self-proclaimed separatist entities in Ukraine as independent, and Moscow's stated position is that they should be part of Ukraine.

In a post on Twitter on February 19, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv said the Russian decision was "alarming and incompatible with the agreed-on goals of the Minsk peace process". Pro-Russian rebels later launched an insurgency in the east. The latest truce began on December 23.

This government uses terrorism and murder every day, against the American people every day, our police are allowed to be judge, jury and executioner against people they believe are a threat.

  • Leroy Wright