Putin refuses to waver on east Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin continued to pound Ukraine, even as Finland's leaders dealt him a blow by announcing their support for joining NATO.

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World News

May 12, 2022 - 3:29 PM

A woman holds a Ukrainian flag next to a banner reading "Stop Putin" as youth groups protest Ukraine intervention with a human chain in front of the Russian Embassy on Feb. 22, 2022 in Berlin, Germany. (Omer Messinger/Getty Images/TNS)

LVIV, Ukraine — As Finland’s leaders dealt him a blow by announcing their support for joining NATO, Russian President Vladimir Putin reaffirmed his determination to maintain Moscow’s sway over eastern Ukraine as Russian forces pounded the area.

Putin, in a message released by the Kremlin on Thursday, offered his support to Leonid Pasechnik, the head of pro-Russia separatists in the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, part of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.

“I am sure that through our joint efforts we will defend the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity” of the Luhansk republic, Putin said, as his war on Ukraine began its 12th week.

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